Olga Fikotová won gold in the discus at the Olympic Games in 1956, less than two years after taking up the discipline. At the Olympics she met and fell in love with an American athlete, Harold Connolly. Back home in Czechoslovakia, their romance overshadowed her stunning success, with Olga accused of being a traitor by the communist authorities. Marriage to Harold spelled the end of her career as a Czechoslovak athlete, though she went on to represent the US at four Olympic Games. Olga Fikotová-Connolly is our guest in this special programme.
On this day (20/6/1976) thirty one years ago, Czech footballer Antonin Panenka wrote himself into football history books by scoring the decisive goal for Czechoslovakia in a penalty shoot-out after the final of the European Cup of Nations against West Germany ended in a draw. This goal was undoubtedly one of the greatest moments in Czech sporting history and it made Panenka a household name. In this edition of Czechs Today, we look at the career of this great footballer and recall his stunning penalty kick, which sealed Czechoslovakia's only ever
Though I would say I am reasonably familiar with Czech culture and history, I must admit that I often have to scratch my head a bit - and consult the internet - whenever we feature a new question in our Radio Prague monthly quiz. The subject of the most recent competition - the remarkable prize-winning tennis, ice hockey and football player Karel Kozeluh - was certainly somebody I should have been familiar with, and I learned about his amazing career with fascination.
Today we reveal the answer to our August question and announce the names of the four lucky winners who will receive small prizes from Radio Prague. We quote from e-mails sent by: Catherine Kraina, Howard Golden, Paul R. Peacock, Zenon Teles, Constantin Liviu Viorel, Christine Takaguchi-Coates and Marcel Voracka.
This week in Mailbox: Marathons in the Czech Republic; rent control; Science in the Streets project; RP on shortwave and the mysterious presenter Petr Skala; a look back at the annual listeners' competition. Listerners quoted: Teodor Shepertycki, Canada; Mark Coviello, Chris Krug, Mary Lou Krenek, US; Mukesh N. Tekwani, India; James Garvin, Northern Ireland.
Your very own Czech Radio provided commentary for the 1934 World Cup final, as Czechoslovakia went 1:0 up through a goal by Antonin Puc. Czechoslovakia went on to lose that game - and also lost the only other final the country appeared in, in 1962. With the current Czech team in Germany on the eve of the 2006 finals, Michael Longaro looks back now at the country's history in the competition.
Jan's guest in One on One is Zdenek Marek. Born in 1925 in the heart of Moravia, in the town of Prostejov - Zdenek Marek made his fame in the late 1940s playing ice hockey for some of Czechoslovakia's top teams, including Sparta Prague. More importantly, he was a member of the national team that won the 1949 World Championship in Sweden. The event changed his life. The occasion allowed Marek to escape from Czechoslovakia - where the Iron Curtain was descending - to start anew in the West. Jan spoke to Mr Marek - now in his 80s - via phone to New
All of us are familiar with the Olympics and many moments of sweet victory, captured in time, that slowly form part of the patchwork of nations' collective identities. There are Czechs who will never forget the feats of runners like Emil Zatopek and his triple triumph in Helsinki. "Less than 200 metres to go it's Zatopek in front! Zatopek wins...what a beautiful race!" Others will always remember gymnast Vera Caslavska's seven gold.
Sparta Prague ice hockey club celebrated its 100th year anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest sports clubs in Europe. It was in January 1904 that the club formed its first ice hockey team, which met on frozen lakes and ponds around Prague. Now a new book has just been published, documenting Sparta's long and very interesting history.
Czechs can take pride in the fact that they were among the pioneers of the modern Olympic movement. Although they missed the first games in 1896, they did take part in Paris in 1900 - thanks in no small part to the work of Jiri Guth, the founder of the Czech Olympic Committee and a close friend of Pierre de Coubertin. At that time they were still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since then Czech athletes have come a very long way indeed. We now look back at some memorable Czech moments in Olympic history gone by.
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