In this rather seasonal Sports News: seventy-one hardy fellows (and ladies) brave the freezing River Vltava for an annual St Stephen's Day swim; former football internationals take part in an annual indoor tournament; Milan Baros scores while Petr Cech makes a terrible error; and Vladimir Ruzicka Jr follows in his father's footsteps, scoring his first goal in the national ice hockey league at 16.
In Sports News: ice hockey star Jaromir Jagr has been named Czech Sportsman of the Year for the first time; world champion cross country skier Katerina Neumannova says she doesn't mind finishing second, while third placed Jakub Janda wins another ski jumping World Cup event; the Czech ice hockey team lose all of their three games in Moscow's Rosno Cup; and Arsenal are reportedly keen to sign Czech footballer Tomas Rosicky.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic will face Italy, Ghana and the United States in the group stage at next year's football world cup - we get the reaction of Czech manager Karel Bruckner; Karel Poborsky is definitely not returning to Sparta Prague; and ski jumper Jakub Janda becomes the first Czech in over two decades to win a World Cup event in front of a domestic audience.
On Wednesday night Czech football side Sparta Prague had one last chance at redemption in what has been a truly miserable autumn season: a win over 3rd place Swiss side Thun would not have gotten Sparta through to the next stage of the Champions League, but it would have at least guaranteed the team a place in the other major European tournament, the UEFA Cup. But, it was not to be. Sparta failed to raise their game, and came up short - again.
In Sports News: ski jumper Jakub Janda is on top of the world after notching up his second win of the season - next stop the Czech Republic's Harrachov; dubious penalties decisions for Sparta and Liberec mar the weekend's football league action; and an injury to Czech ice hockey star Robert Lang could be a lucky break for young forward Jiri Hudler.
In Sports News: in a fantastic weekend for Czech skiing, ski jumper Jakub Janda and cross country great Katerina Neumannova both win in Finland; after years of domination by Jiri Novak, this year's Czech tennis player of the year award goes to rising star Tomas Berdych; Slovan Liberec are now five points clear in the football league; and Bohemians celebrate anniversary while Cech sings for Chelsea!
In Sports News: decathlete Roman Sebrle is named Czech Athlete of the Season for the fourth year in a row, after finishing second this year at the World Championships; cross country skier Katerina Neumannova begins this "Olympic" season in fifth place; Liberec knock Slavia Prague off the top of the Czech ice hockey league; and footballer Milan Baros nets his first goal in two months.
It was the last elusive dream pursued by one of the greatest generations ever in Czech football: an appearance in the prestigious World Cup. The last time any Czech played in one was fifteen years ago - at Italia '90. Now, it's next stop Germany. On Wednesday night, the national squad - ranked 3rd in the world - qualified by beating Norway 2:0 on aggregate. At Prague's Letna stadium players like Karel Poborsky and Vladimir Smicer celebrated, while star midfielder Pavel Nedved fell to his knees in jubilation and relief.