The professional ski season has drawn to a close but four Czech athletes, including the Czech ski cross champion Tomáš Kraus, aren’t ready to pull out the golf clubs just yet. In a day’s time, he and a well-known freeride skier and two of the country’s best snowboarders will head to Alaska, where they plan to tackle extreme inclines and pristine powder over the course of 12 days. The result should be a short documentary about skiing or snowboarding at its very best.
In Sports News this Monday: there are upsets in the playoffs of ice hockey’s Extraliga, with the clubs who came first and second in the regular season both exiting in the quarter-finals for the first time ever; Sparta Prague pull ahead in the Czech soccer league with a 3:0 win over Brno; Vendula Frintová takes a top triathlon prize in Australia; and former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedvěd takes part in the Prague Half Marathon.
In Sports News this Monday: Martina Sáblíková crowns a dream season with victory at the World Allround Speed Skating Championships, though her coach says he may quit if the state doesn’t put more money into the sport; Lukáš Bauer also ends his season well, coming second in the cross-country skiing World Cup; Czech football is hit by allegations of match-fixing, though questions are asked about the timing of the controversy; and Sparta Prague go top of the league after they beat Olomouc and Teplice are beaten by Brno.
The Czech Republic’s Nicole Vaidišová – once ranked seventh in women’s tennis but currently 176th in the world – is retiring at the age of 20, reports have stated citing sources close to the player, including Aleš Kodet her stepfather and former coach. Vaidišová, who is the girlfriend of Czech men’s number one Radek Štěpánek, suffered a downward spiral over the last two years, after reaching two Grand Slam semi-finals in 2007. According to sources, the once promising player grew tried of losing matches and lost her drive to compete.
In Sports News: Czech downhill skiers clinch a sensational win in the World Cup Nations Teams event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen; football’s Sparta eke out last-minute win against Mladá Boleslav; Baroš scores in his first game back for Galatasaray; in hockey, Slavia and Liberec become the last two teams to reach the quarterfinals; Czech athletes post disappointing results at World Indoor Athletics championships.
The women’s hockey club HC Slavia Praha last season recruited three foreign hockey players – two of them from a Canadian and one from an American university team - to help boost the level of women’s hockey here in the Czech Republic. Julia Bronson, Stephanie Jones and Carson Duggan have just finished a successful season with their team, which won the Czech league, and are now heading to the women’s hockey finals that are about to take place in Berlin. The three players talk about their experience here, the future of women’s hockey and how they
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic make very light work of Belgium to reach the last eight in tennis’s Davis Cup, not dropping a set on their way to victory in just six and a half hours; cross country skier Lukáš Bauer comes second in the 30 km pursuit in Finland’s Lahti; and Teplice and Sparta Prague are still neck-and-neck in the Czech soccer league after victories at the weekend.
The historic success of Martina Sábliková at the Winter Olympics has revived a debate on whether a dedicated speed skating arena should be built in the Czech Republic. The mayor of the town where Sábliková lives says a backer may soon be found for such a hall, which the state would have to maintain. But some say that would waste public money on an extremely marginal sport.
In Sports News this Monday: the 2010 Winter Olympics are the most successful ever for the Czech Republic with two gold and four bronze medals; Šárka Záhrobská is the last Czech to reach the podium following a third-place finish in the women’s slalom; after two bronze medals (including one in the men’s cross-country relay) skier Lukáš Bauer finishes way off the pace in the 50 kilometre classic; and Jablonec extend their lead as the Czech football season resumes.
There were a few bright moments at Vancouver 2010 when the Czech hockey team was firing on all cylinders but ultimately the Czechs’ run at the Olympics was short-lived, notably the fourth time in a row in a major tournament that they have exited in the quarterfinals. Now some are suggesting that the Czech team is on the verge of crisis, facing lean years in which medal wins will be few.