Legendary Czech footballer Josef “Pepi” Bican, who died in 2001, has been named to the Czech F.A.’s Hall of Fame. The striker, who played for Slavia Prague, was inducted on the date of what would have been his 100th birthday. Originally, Bican’s name was to have been added in 2012, but the move was originally blocked by his son, on the grounds that persecution of his father by the former communist regime had not been acknowledged by the football association. The association’s head, Miroslav Pelta, addressed the past and apologised earlier this year.
The legendary footballer Josef “Pepi” Bican, was inducted in the Czech Football Association’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Officially recognized as the most prolific scorer in the history of the game, Pepi Bican is said to have scored an incredible 4,500 goals in his career.
Anyone interested in the history of athletics will have heard of Emil Zátopek, the greatest Czech long-distance runner of all time. His life story is the subject of a short novel by the Prix Goncourt winning French writer, Jean Echenoz, called simply “Running” – “Courir” in the original French. The book is an account of the life of an athlete whose quiet, determined attitude towards his sport contrasted with the complex political dramas going on around him in mid-20th century Europe. David Vaughan looks at the book and at the life of Emil
In Sports News this Monday: Czech swimmers enjoy success at the European Short Course Swimming Championships, bringing home seven medals; the domestic soccer league goes into its winter break, with Jablonec’s David Lafata on 13 goals in 16 games; and guess which Czech athletics legend was among the first dozen inductees into the new IAAF Hall of Fame.
Czech competitor Barbora Špotáková has won gold in the women’s javelin throw at the Olympic Games in London. The athlete dominated in the competition: her longest throw was 69.55 metres but all four of her attempts were more than any of her nearest rivals could muster. Špotáková becomes just the third competitor in Czech Olympic history to defend their title at the Summer Olympics, a feat previously achieved only by legends Emil Zátopek and Jan Železný (Špotáková’s couch). Špotáková won her first gold four years ago in Beijing. The medal brings the Czech tally at the London games to eight.
With the summer Olympics fast approaching Czechs are gauging their chances and reliving past triumphs. One of the highlights of these past successes was the 1952 triumph at the Olympic games in Helsinki when 30-year-old runner Emil Zátopek and his wife Dana bagged four gold medals in quick succession. Sixty years on Dana, now just weeks short of 90, recalls their incredible life together and the hard-won successes that made them a household name.
Ája Vrzáňová-Steindler is a remarkable woman. Now aged 81, she was twice crowned world figure skating champion, in 1949 and 1950, while still in her teens. Immediately after taking her second world title, she won political asylum in the U.K., before moving to the United States, where she has spent much of her life. Her mother soon followed her to the West – in a dramatic escape on one of three civilian planes simultaneously hijacked by their pilots and flown to an airbase near Munich. Her father, however, remained in Czechoslovakia.
In Sports News: Fans, players mark the 50th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s second-place finish at the 1962 World Cup; Pirlo emulates Panenka with a cheeky chip against England at EURO 2012; Czech football champions Liberec will face Kazakhstan’s Shakhter Karagandy in the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League; Kvitová begins defence of Wimbledon title.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott