Viktoria Plzeň can look forward to European football in the New Year after securing third spot in their Champions League group to earn a place in the Europa League. It is the fifth time coach Pavel Vrba has steered Plzeň to the spring phase of Europe’s second-tier competition – an impressive feat for a club of the West Bohemians’ stature.
Jaromír Jágr is to be the public face of the ice hockey tournament at Beijing’s Winter Olympic Games in 2022. Jágr thus joins Canadian legend Wayne Gretzky among the personalities that are helping prepare and develop Chinese ice hockey. But it is not only on the level of personalities that cooperation is growing.
Thursday is the 50th anniversary of perhaps the most famous protest in the history of Czech sport, when gymnast Věra Čáslavská looked away while the Soviet anthem was played at the 1968 Olympics. The brave gesture came two months after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia – and cost the country’s greatest Olympian dear.