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.
On Wednesday night millions of football fans around Europe will watch the final of the Champions League, the biggest, most glamorous club competition in the history of the game. Few of them will know the story of Europe's first ever international club competition, and the forerunner of the Champions League, the Mitropa Cup.
In Canada it is referred to simply as "The Game", a national sport, a spectator passion, and a winter pastime. But, Canadians are far from alone in their passion: though they may have invented ice hockey, this sport more than any other, carries similar resonance for the Czechs, whose own hockey tradition reaches back to the turn of the 20th century. It may have taken them forty years to become world champions and ninety to win Olympic gold, but few doubt the Czechs' place in the world of hockey today. They have stars in the NHL and one of the best
A statue of the legendary Czech long-distance runner Emil Zatopek has just been erected in a very fitting location - the garden of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. We hear from his widow Dana Zatopkova, and the greatest Czech athlete of the modern age, Jan Zelezny. Also in Sports News, AC Milan are reportedly interested in Slavia's Stepan Vachosek and Jiri Novak says he will play at tennis's Paris Masters, despite an injury.
Recently, the Czech team from the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games got together to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event. Among those present was the gold-winning javelin-thrower from Helsinki, Dana Zatopkova, who celebrated her 80th birthday in September. In this week's Profile we look at Dana Zatopkova's sporting career and her life with her, now deceased, husband Emil.
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