Pavel Nedvěd, former Czech national football team captain and the best footballer of his generation, has appeared on a special set of coins, celebrating Czech football legends. Issued by the Czech Mint in Jablonec nad Nisou, the series already features 10 legendary Czech and Czechoslovak footballers, including Antonín Panenka and Josef Masopust. Part of the proceeds from their sale is used to support retired football internationals.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association paid tribute to former hockey forward and national squad coach, Josef Augusta who died on Thursday at the age of 70. The coach, who managed the squad during the so-called Golden era at the World Champions from 1999 to 2001 with the team winning the championship three times in a row, had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had been diagnosed in 2015. As a player, Mr Augusta won the silver medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
This Tuesday marks 80 years that the first match was held in the country’s first national hockey league. The teams Sparta Prague and Vítkovice faced off on a natural ice rink in Ostrava-Vítkovice. Forward Vilém Kubečka scoring the very first goal but Sparta came back to tie it. For much of the month, the league, now known as the Extraliga, will be celebrating the anniversary.
Former javelin thrower Dana Zátopková, holder of gold and silver medals from the 1952 and 1960 Olympic Games in Helsinki and Rome, underwent surgery shortly after celebrating her 94th birthday last week. The Olympian, wife of the late Emil Zátopek, also an Olympic champion, reportedly broke her femur near the hip, and was operated on Saturday morning. Mrs Zátopková’s secretary Karel Engel said that the operation had been successful and that she was doing well.
Monday, October 3, marks the 90th anniversary of Europe’s first live coverage of a sporting event: a football match between Slavia Prague and Hungaria Budapest in 1926. Radiožurnál’s Josef Laufer, who went on to become a broadcasting legend, provided live commentary of the match, a stroke of luck for the reporter after the original candidate to call the match failed to show up. Radiožurnál edged the BBC by several months in its live broadcast of a sporting event, Czech Radio said.
Final farewells were paid to the great gymnast Věra Čáslavská at Prague’s National Theatre on Monday. Athletes from across the generations, ministers and other notable figures from Czech public life expressed their respect for the nation’s most successful Olympian, who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 74.
The sad news was announced on Wednesday that the most successful ever Czech Olympic athlete, Věra Čáslavská, died at the age of 74. She had been battling cancer of the pancreas. The gymnast will be remembered not just for her medals but for her protest against the Soviet bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia at the 1968 Mexico Olympics.
Former footballer Jiří Tichý, a member of the Czechoslovak national squad that finished silver at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, losing in the final to Brazil, has died at the age of 82. The news that he passed away on Friday was released by football club Slavoj Podivín which the former defender used to coach. In the 1962 final in Chile, Czechoslovakia opened the scoring but went on to lose 3:1.
One of the Czech attractions at the Rio Olympics will be dozens of pairs of electric-powered life-sized legs in memory of the country’s famous long-distance runner Emil Zatopek. The Zatopek legs were created by artist David Černý who drew the crowd at the 2012 Olympics in London with a red double-decker bus that performed push-ups. The flesh-colored legs are all wearing running shorts and black boots in a reference to Zatopek's training regime. They are fixed to walls or suspended from ceilings from the waist, moving at the rate of about one step per second.
With the Summer Olympics now looming, it’s probably appropriate to look a bit deeper at the life and times of probably the greatest Czechoslovak athlete ever, the distance runner Emil Zátopek. It was Zátopek who astoundingly won a trio of gold medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres and the marathon, amazingly a distance that he had never competed at before.
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