The public will pay their respects to the three Czech victims of this week’s tragic air accident on Sunday afternoon at Old Town Square in Prague. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. The bodies of hockey stars Karel Rachůnek, Jan Marek and Josef Vašíček were returned to the Czech Republic by a special government flight from Moscow, where they were identified. A passenger plane carrying almost all of the Russian hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl went down near the city’s airport on Wednesday and caught fire. The crash caused 43 deaths; one person is reported to have survived, though he is in critical condition with severe burns.
A memorial to mark the tragic death of three Czech ice hockey stars kicked
off in Prague on Thursday. In the afternoon, hundreds of people gathered
the square, where a makeshift shrine of flags, Jerseys and tricolor flags
had been assembled during an impromptu gathering on Wednesday night. Czech
ice hockey player Patrik Eliáš was among those who lit a candle in
of the victims of Wednesday’s plane crash, in which 43 people were
killed, among them the Czech players Karel Rachůnek, Josef Vašíček and
A Yak-42 plane came down shortly after take off from the Russian city of Yaroslavl on Wednesday and burst into flames. The players were taking off for Minsk for the first match of the season. Among the 43 victims were Russian and European hockey players. Only two passengers survived and are in critical condition with severe burns.
In related news, the Czech embassy in Moscow received preliminary confirmation from Russian authorities that the bodies of Czech ice hockey stars Karel Rachůnek and Jan Marek had been identified on Thursday. The two, along with the Czech hockey star Josef Vašíček, were among the victims of Wednesday’s crash of a Yak-42 plane in which 43 people were killed. The Czech embassy is working to ensure that the bodies of the Czech crash victims be returned to the country as quickly as possible. According to Russian media, emergency response teams have been working at the site of the crash to identify the victims’ bodies; in roughly half of the cases, victims’ identities were confirmed.
The Czech Republic is mourning the loss of its three ice hockey stars in a plane crash that will be remembered as one of the worst sporting tragedies in history. Jan Marek, Karel Rachůnek and Josef Vašíček were among the 43 victims of Wednesday’s tragic plane crash in Russia which wiped out the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team.
An aircraft carrying the Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has crashed, killing at least 36 people, among them three star Czech hockey players: Karel Rachůnek, Josef Vašíček a Jan Marek. The Yak-42 passenger plane went down near the city of Yaroslavl in north-eastern Russia on its way to a match in Belarus, the first of the season. One person on board is reported to have survived. The Russian news agency Interfax has cited officials as saying that the plane was having difficulty gaining altitude and hit a runway antenna, after which it crashed and caught fire. Other victims apparently include Slovak legend Pavol Demitra and Swedish goalkeeper Liv Stefan. IIHF President René Fasel called the day the blackest in the history of the sport.
In Sports News this Monday: Czech footballers fail in a friendly against Norway while at home, action continues in Gambrinus Liga; two Czech riders see mixed luck at motorcycle Grand Prix in Brno; Czech cross country rider wins 2011 World Cup; and three-time hockey world champion Oldřich Machač dies aged 65.
The famous Czech ice-hockey defenseman Oldřich Macháč died at the age
of 65 on Wednesday morning. The three-time World Champion had been
suffering from heart disease for a period of time.
Oldřich Macháč, who was most of the time paired with his friend and team mate František Pospíšil, played in nearly 300 national team games for Czechoslovakia and scored a total of 37 goals. He represented the country at 11 IHF Championships and three Olympic tournaments and was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999.
The funeral has taken place in Brno of Czech ice hockey legend Jaroslav Jiřík, who last week died in a small plane crash at the age of 71. Jiřík, who appeared over 130 times for Czechoslovakia, was the first Eastern Bloc player ever to play for an NHL club when he turned out for St. Louis Blues in the 1969-1970 season. Among those who attended Monday’s funeral were former team-mates from the national team, including Jozef Golonka, Gustav Bubník, František Pospíšil, Vladimír Nadrchal, Jaroslav Maixner, Josef Černý and Jan Havel.
The former TV programme announcer and host Milena Vostřáková – who was fired from Czechoslovak Television in 1969 for a single statement deemed as anti-Soviet – has died at the age of 77. Her family revealed the information on Friday. In March of 1969, after the defeat of the Soviet Union by Czechoslovakia at the Ice Hockey World Championships, Mrs Vostřáková called the victory not only athletic but ‘moral’ – a statement that would see her banned from the small screen and other media for 20 years. The Communists charged that her statement, which followed the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia by roughly half a year – was intended to stir up anti-Soviet sentiment. Mrs Vostřáková returned to the TV screen in 1990 and continued working in television for a number of years before retiring for good.