In this week's Sports News: Dominik Hašek is named the greatest ever European ice hockey player; Czech Záhlavová-Strýcová is beaten in the Italiacom Open finals; Czech Olympic javelin hopeful performs in pre-Olympic tournament; police close the case of death of Rally Bohemia navigator and Czech wins third stage in Tour de Pologne cycle competition.
With just a fortnight to the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London the Czech Olympic Committee as well as the Czech embassy in the British capital is gearing up for the event. The base for Czech sports fans and visitors to the games will be the “Czech House”, located in the borough of Islington, which will open on Friday, July 27. Radio Prague spoke to the Czech ambassador to the UK, Michael Žantovský, and asked him about the preparations.
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.
Prague is hosting the 15th festival of the Sokol athletics movement, a gathering of around 20,000 members and supporters from at home and abroad. In the past, Sokol played an important role in the Czech nation’s emancipation, and its festivals, held every six years, were huge demonstrations of national unity. But today, the Sokols come to manifest their love for sports and exercise. Jan Richter reports.
In this week's Sports News, Petra Kvitová to play crucial fourth round match at Wimbledon; Czech players on the move in the NHL; two local ice-hockey teams form a business partnership; five medals for Czechs at the European Athletics Championships and the national women's basketball team qualifies at the eleventh hour for the London Olympics.
The year is 1984, and Ivan Lendl plays the winning point against John McEnroe in the final of the French Open in Paris, one of eight Grand Slam singles titles in his career. The 1970s and 80s were period of huge tennis success in Czechoslovakia, and the country put considerable resources into the sport. Unlike most of their compatriots, the country’s top tennis players were able to travel round the world, and when Czechoslovak Radio caught up with the 19-year-old Lendl just before Christmas 1979, it was during one of his rare trips back home:
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.
The Czech national football team lost 1:0 to Portugal in the quarterfinals of EURO 2012 in Warsaw on Thursday and was knocked out of the tournament. In the game, the Czechs delivered their best performance at the championships but failed to stop Portugal’s star Ronaldo from sending them home. Thursday’s match was also the Czech striker Milan Baroš’s last appearance for the national side.