Czech ice hockey coach Alois Hadamczik has called up such veterans as Jaromír Jágr and Petr Nedvěd for the country’s squad for the Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi next month. Seventeen players from the NHL have been included in the roster, with Tomáš Plekanec of Montreal Canadiens being named captain. It will be the fifth Olympics for Jágr, who has not ruled out playing a sixth in 2018, when he will be 46.
The 2007 world slalom champion Šárka Záhrobská-Strachová has been chosen to be the Czech Republic’s flag bearer at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. It has been an eventful year for the popular Czech skier who following a serious health scare successfully recovered from brain surgery to remove a benign tumour, married her coach and is now competing under her new name.
President Miloš Zeman, made clear in his regular broadcast Hovory z Lán on Sunday he will not boycott next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, unlike, for example, his German counterpart Joachim Gauck. Mr Zeman did say he was prepared, while there, to voice his views on human rights. A number of world figures are refusing to attend the Olympics over legislation in Russia discriminating gays and lesbians. Mr Zeman said in the broadcast that sexual orientation was a personal matter in which politics should have no part, which he could say at a press conference there. Mr Zeman will travel to Russia for two days to show support for the Czech Olympic team. According to the Czech News Agency, the president will also attend a reception of heads-of-state to be held by Russian President Vladimir Putin together with the country’s sports minister.
The ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr, who is 41, has said he may play for the Czech Republic at next year’s Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi. However, the website iSport.cz quoted Jágr as saying he would only go to the Games if the coach wants him and he feels that he ranks among the best Czech players; he said he did not want anybody to believe he was only called up because of his name. The right wing, who was part of the Czech team that won Olympic gold at Nagano in 1998, recently joined the NHL club the New Jersey Devils.
The design of the Czech Olympic kit for the 2014 Sochi winter games will be inspired by the paintings of the Czech artists Alfons Mucha, the Olympic committee chairman Jiří Kejval announced at a press on conference on Tuesday. Mr Kejval, together with the retired tennis star Ivan Lendl revealed the first images that will be featured on official Olympians’ clothing, which were taken in part from a postage stamp designed by Mucha. The design for the kit of the Czech team from last year’s London summer games was based on František Kupka’s painting Amorpha, which received considerable praise from the international media.