While the Olympics in Beijing are still over four months away, the recent unrest in Tibet has brought the issue of how the world should deal with China – and the games – to the fore. The Czech minister of education and sport is set to boycott the Beijing Olympics, while the prime minister has just issued a statement saying he will let the cabinet decide whether he should attend. With the president staying home for health reasons, will any senior Czech politicians actually go to Beijing? And what would it mean if they don't?
In Sports News today: Tomáš Verner fails to deliver at World Figure Skating Championship; Liberec has made dramatic comeback against Slavia in the ice-hockey Extraliga play-offs; Czechs are to meet Scotland in a friendly in May; Czech football coach Karel Bruckner has said he will resign after Euro 2008; Pavel Nedvěd is considering returning to the national football team.
Lukáš Bauer, the Czech Republic's newest sporting hero, arrived in Prague on Tuesday, proudly in possession of the Crystal Globe for winning cross country skiing's season-long World Cup. Bauer, who is 30, is the first Czech ever to win the prestigious trophy. He actually had the World Cup in the bag two weeks ago, but had to wait for the last race of the season to get his hands on the Crystal Globe. I spoke to Lukas Bauer about the reaction to his success here in the Czech Republic.
In Sports News: the Czech cross country skier Lukáš Bauer finally gets his hands on his trophy after becoming the first Czech ever to win the season-long World Cup; biathlonist Michal Šlesingr wins his first ever World Cup race, after a photo finish in Norway; Slavia remain on top of the Czech football league, but leave it late to sink Bohemians; and Marek Matějovský is the talk of the Premier League after a stunning goal for Reading.
One of the world’s most successful tennis stars, Martina Navrátilová, is again a Czech citizen after more than 30 years. The nine-times Wimbledon champion made the announcement to journalists in Tokyo on Tuesday, but stressed that the move would have no effect on her status as an American national, nor was her decision politically motivated, as many had speculated.
In Sports News this week: there are no medals for the Czech Republic at the World Indoor Athletics Championships, while Roman Šebrle is stretchered off with a hamstring injury in the heptathlon; Slavia Prague drop two points in the race for the Czech football league title with a draw against Ostrava in front of almost 17,000 fans; and speed skater Martina Sáblíková retains her world title in Japan.
Until now no Czech cross-country skier had ever clinched the World Cup title, not even the great Kateřina Neumannová who won gold in the Turin Olympics. That has now changed: on Wednesday it became clear that this year Czech skier Lukáš Bauer will be crowned king, after his closest rival in the standings pulled out of competition. Now, no one can overtake him.
In Sports News this week: cross country skier Lukáš Bauer is almost guaranteed to become the first Czech to ever win the prestigious, season-long World Cup; leaders Slavia Prague bounce back from defeat to notch up three more points in their quest for the league title, while Žižkov beat Bohemians in a Prague derby; and Jan Koller could face punishment after allegedly spitting at an opponent.
In this week’s Sports News: Czech cross country skier Lukáš Bauer draws closer to victory in this season’s World Cup; Radek Štěpánek loses in the final of tennis’s San Jose Open; Sparta Prague, wearing a special strip, trounce Viktoria Žižkov; and Chelsea keeper Petr Čech will, like Slavia Prague, be cursing his luck against Spurs.
Pavel Bárta, the spokesman for the Czech Ice Hockey Association, is a former hockey journalist and author with more than 20 years experience. His most recent book covers everything from the 1920s in Czech hockey to the Olympics, including the Czechs’ famous gold win at Nagano ten years ago. In this edition of One on One: a look back at that tournament as well as Pavel Bárta’s early career. When we met at his Prague office recently, the former Bruins fan admitted to a lifelong fascination with North America’s NHL and he began by telling me what it