The legendary runner Emil Zátopek and his wife Dana, a javelin thrower, made history at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, when they won altogether four gold medals for Czechoslovakia. The story of one of the world’s most famous sporting couples is the focus of a new film by David Ondříček, which has just started shooting.
Stanislav Tišer, a former Czechoslovak bantamweight champion boxer now in his early sixties, has been running a Prague boxing club for over 25 years. Thousands of young people – many with troubled backgrounds – have found much need support, discipline and direction under his wings. A decade ago, Tišer received the Fair Play award from the Czech Olympic Committee for his sportsmanship and in March was named an EDUín Prize winner for his work with youth.
Exactly 50 years ago today, the Czechoslovak national ice hockey team beat the Soviets in the world championships for a second time, setting off a series of celebrations – which soon turned into protests, at times violent, against the ongoing Warsaw Pact occupation. Though a moral victory, in a sense it proved a Pyrrhic one.
His father is a Vietnamese businessman and he was born here in the Czech Republic. Thai Dai Van Nguyen is one of many second-generation Vietnamese who are fluent is Czech, as in other foreign languages, hard-working, disciplined and ambitious. At just 16 Van became the youngest chess grandmaster in the Czech Republic and less than two years later he is among the five best players in Europe in his age group. I asked him how his success story began.