Czechs pay tribute to courageous gymnast Věra Cašlavská

09-09-2016 updated

Czechs have been from Friday able to pay homage to the Olympic star gymnast and critic of the 1986 invasion of Czechoslovakia, Věra Cašlavská. A steady stream of people laid flowers and signed a commemorative book at a small square besides Prague’s National Theatre from Friday morning. The homage to the seven times Olympics gold medal winner will continue until mid-day on Monday, when an hour long tribute to Cašlavská will be held at the theatre. It will include a ballet performance, theatre, and comments from fellow sports personalities and figures. Cašlavská, a star of the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and Mexico Olympics four years later, died at the age of 74 on August 30. As well as her sporting triumphs, she was also known for her support of reforms in Czechoslovakia and opposition to the moves following the Warsaw Pact invasion that year to roll them back. She was persecuted by the Communist authorities for signing a text in favour of the reforms.