The Czech Republic Makes a Splash at the Rio Olympics

The Czech Republic Makes a Splash at the Rio Olympics

The Czech Republic has participated in the Summer Olympics since 1996, but the people in the country have been Olympians since 1900 when the region was known as Bohemia, then later as Czechoslovakia.

Every four years, the country’s top athletes have made a splash in sporting events such as canoeing, tennis, judo, javelin and shooting, and the Rio Olympic weren't any different. Since 1996 the Czech Republic has won 44 medals, including 14 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze. This time around, Czech Republic athletes brought home 7 bronze medals, 2 silver and 1 gold.
This Olympics, athletes Lukáš Krpálek, Josef Dostál, Jiří Prskavec, Ondřej Synek made quite an impression on the sporting events of judo, canoeing and rowing. Lukáš Krpálek won the gold medal in the Men’s 100 kg Judo event. Josef Dostál won silver in the Men’s K-1 1,000 m canoeing event, Jiří Prskavec won bronze in the Men’s Slalom K-1 canoeing event, and Ondřej Synek won bronze in Men’s Single Sculls rowing. Tennis was also successful for Czech Republic with Olympians bringing home three bronze medals.
Here are a few more Czech Olympians that made waves this year!

Zuzana Hejnová

Discipline: 400 meters hurdles
Hometown: Liberec

Zuzana competes in the 100 metres, 100 metres hurdles, 400 metres, and 400 metres hurdles, and she is also a heptathlete. She is the current World Champion in the 400 metres hurdles. Her sister, Michaela, is also an Olympic athlete.
Zuzana won first place in the semifinal event in the 400m hurdles and took 4th in the finals.
If you’re in Zuzana’s neighborhood, check out Ještěd, a beautiful community that celebrates nature and architecture with a funky hotel on its hill top and a gorgeous view of the Jizera Mountains in the distance.

Barbora Špotáková

Discipline: javelin thrower
Hometown: Jablonec nad Nisou

Barbora is the world record holder and current Olympic champion in the javelin. In her early career, Barbora was a heptathlete who finished fourth at the 2000 World Junior Championships. In 2000, she also won the International Combined Events Meeting in Hexham before she decided to specialize in Javelin throwing and study in the U.S. She is currently a member of ASO (Armádní sportovní oddíl, Army Sport Group) of Dukla Prague. On the 11th day of the Rio Olympics, she won 2nd place in the women’s javelin throw. On the second round, she placed third and won a bronze medal.
If you are in Jablonec nad Nisou, be sure to take some time to explore the Jizera Mountains. The Jizera Mountains are downright magical, especially in the summer with the warm sun, tall lush trees and summer cultural festivals. 

Jaroslav Kulhavý

Discipline: MTB
Hometown: Ústí nad Orlicí

Jaroslav is a mountain biking extraordinair. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, he won the gold medal in the cross-country event. He was also the overall winner of the UCI World Cup in 2011, and he took 3rd place in 2010 and 2012. Jaroslav won the Tour de France of mountain biking - the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race - with his partner Christoph Sauser in 2013 and 2015. And if that wasn’t enough to impress, in 2014 he took the world title in mountain bike marathon.
Jaroslav took second place and brought home the silver medal for the Men’s cross-country event on August 21, the final day of the Olympics.
Jaroslav’s hometown is found in East Bohemia in the Czech Republic. If you are in the mood for mystery and adventure, this is the place to go! Rock cities, table mountains, heritage sites, and historic military monuments are just a sampling of the things you’ll find here!

Miroslava Knapková

Discipline: rower
Hometown: Brno

A champion rower, Miroslava is a formidable athlete. In the 2011 World Rowing Championships, she won the Single Sculls event at Lake Bled. Later at the 2012 Summer Olympics, she won first place in the same discipline. This Rio Olympics, she won first place in the Single Sculls event and ranked 10th and under in similar events.

It makes sense that a champion rower would hail from Brno, the land of rivers and winning personalities. If you are in Czech Republic, spend a few days in Moravia and indulge your five senses with stunning nature, heartwarming culture and delightful cuisine.

David Svoboda

Discipline: Olympic pentathlon
Hometown: Prague

The 2008 olympics ignited a passion for the modern pentathlon for David Svoboda. He finished 28th, but he didn’t see that as a hinderance to his career. He trained like never before and in 2012, he won a gold medal in London. On the 15th day of this Olympics, David ranked 9th overall in his event.
Prague, what better place to feel like a winner? From art sculptures and installations scattered across the city to stunning castles to tantalizing food, and fun festivals, Prague is a fast favorite for many travelers. Don’t forget to book a couple walking tours while you are here!