Czech athletes return triumphant from Melbourne Deaf Olympics

Staying on the subject of sport, the 20th Deaf Summer Olympics have just wrapped-up in Melbourne, Australia, games at which Czech athletes once again showed determination and the will to win. The Czechs dominated in athletics with two competitors earning either gold or silver medals in the 100 and the 200 metres, the discus, and the hammer throw, while a third sportswoman, the charismatic Tereza Vagnerova, earned bronze in the heptathlon.

Martin Mikule asked Tereza about her bronze finish and whether she was happy with her result:

Tell me - in which disciplines do you take part?

"The 100 metres, the hurdles, the high jump, the long jump, etc. But, in Melbourne I ran badly because I wasn't fit now. In Melbourne, I have only one medal but I am happy."

The only Czech sportsman to earn a medal was 21-year-old cyclist Frantisek Kocourek, who finished third in a 32 kilometre time-trial. He told us that he had never pedalled such a gruelling race in his life:

"It really depends on many factors on the day: weather conditions, how well rested you are, and so on. But I was really motivated for the time trial. I can honestly tell you I have never raced such a difficult race in my life. I think I really gave more than 100 percent. I only realised what I had achieved after the Olympics had come to an end."

With such drive from its athletes, and so many medals, the Czech Paralympic Committee couldn't be more pleased with the Melbourne results, saying Czechs had managed quite an achievement under the gruelling Australian sun. Secretary General of the Czech Paralympic Committee, Frantisek Janouch, points out that by now some Czech athletes who have repeatedly taken part in the Deaf Olympics, like sprinter Margareta Trnkova-Hanne, are truly an inspiration, and he is one of many who hope she will compete at the next Deaf Olympics in four year's time.

"Margareta's gold finish was an amazing result: she's a gazelle! She runs with such grace and ease compared to the power-approach of her opponents that it almost looks like she's flying."