The first group of Czech athletes has arrived at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the upcoming summer games. According to news site idnes, the team had expressed relative satisfaction with the accommodation and found no problems, the head of the Czech delegation Tomáš Houska, confirmed. Teams from Australia, New Zealand and Italy found the facilities lacking, idnes reported, saying that Australian athletes were looking for alternative accommodation at local hotels.
The Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková ended her season on Saturday with fourth place in the 3000m in Heerenveen in the Netherlands, a result that gave her an eighth overall victory in her sport’s long-distance World Cup. Sáblíková will not take part in next week’s World Championships, also in Heerenveen, saying she is exhausted after the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where she picked up silver in the 3000m and gold in the 5000m to take her tally of Olympic medals to five.
The Czech Olympic team won eight medals at the Sochi Winter Games, more than ever before. The games were a dream come true for Czech biathletes who took five of the eight medals. Much of the credit went to the biathletes’ chief coach Ondřej Rybář whose approach and training methods bore fruit at the games. So what are the ingredients of the biathletes’ brilliant success? Jan Richter investigates in this edition of In Focus.
Thousands of well-wishers and fans turned out in Žďár nad Sázavou on Saturday to greet champion Martina Sáblíková. The Olympian, who won one gold and one silver at the Winter Olympics in Sochi was greeted with flowers and other gifts, including a cake in the shape of the winners’ podium. At the Winter Games, Sáblíková defended her gold from Vancouver in the 5,000 metres – her favourite competition.
Every Winter Olympics has its defining, overarching moments of success and victory, moments which we look back on years later, remembering where we were when they happened. In 1998, it was the Czechs winning gold in hockey in Nagano; four years later it was Aleš Valenta sealing victory with his acrobatic jump in Salt Lake City, and in 2006 it was Kateřina Neumannová in Turin winning gold in the 30 km.
The Czech national hockey team is now officially looking for a new coach. On Monday, a day after the Winter Olympics ended, Alois Hadamczik announced he was stepping down, in large part, he said, after coming under fire from the media. It was the team’s exit in the quarter-finals at the games which arguably sealed his fate.
Around 4,000 fans welcomed returned members of the Czech Winter Olympics team in Prague on Sunday. Among the athletes who appeared at an Olympic Park at the city’s Letná were snowboarder Eva Samková and speed skater Martina Sáblíková, who won the country’s two gold medals at Sochi. The Czech Republic achieved a medals tally of eight at the Winter Olympics, two more than the country’s previous record, with the majority coming in biathlon.
The head of the Czech men’s hockey team Alois Hadamczik has said in an interview for a commercial radio station he will be stepping down as head coach following the team’s finish outside the medals at this year’s Winter Olympics. The squad was eliminated in the quarter-finals by the US and only managed wins against Latvia and Slovakia in the tournament. Mr Hadamczik had a contract to lead the team until 2015, when Prague will host the Ice Hockey World Championship. The coach cited intense media pressure as one of the reasons for leaving. Under his lead the Czechs won two bronze and one silver medal in the World Championships and secured bronze at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.