Over 500 people attended the Czech Embassy’s Olympic Village on September 18, celebrating the accomplishments of Czech Olympic athletes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2021 honoring Věra Čáslavská.
To commemorate the event, the Embassy’s staff sported their spirit for the Games wearing the official Czech Olympic Team (Český olympijský tým) t-shirts provided by the Czech Olympic Committee. Upon entering, guests greeted at the welcome table received a map with ten stops with short stories spotlighting the Olympic and Paralympic medalists.
On the railing of the Embassy, black and white pictures presented the life of the highlighted personality - Czech Olympian Věra Čáslavská, who during her career won seven Olympic gold medals in gymnastics. In tribute to her legacy, children of American Sokol Washington, D.C., performed live acrobatics, as the sounds of Věra Čáslavská’s Olympic triumphs played over the sound system.
To promote one of the newest sports of the Olympics, The DC Wheels, a non-profit organization led by Jimmy Pelletier, executed stylized stunts in skateboarding. In his remarks about the organization he founded, Pelletier spoke about how he uses the power of skateboarding to change lives.
Making a special appearance at the event, DC triathlete Eva Kodouskova, who grew up in the Czech Republic, spoke about her racing experience and exhibited her gear that she uses to race competitively.
On the cycling front, guests learned about the project Czech Bikes for Gambian Schools, and checked out a recently donated bike as well as measured their speed on the bike. Furthermore, they had the chance to download and get premium membership the Cyclers app, one of the smartest bike navigation systems in the world created by Czech developers.
To set the tone for the day, the band Orchester Praževica, led by Tomáš Drgoň, played Czechoslovak folk songs and jazzy tunes, as couples danced, children clapped, and onlookers tapped their feet to the beat.
Throughout the day running from 10 am – 2 pm, attendees could play table tennis, try their soccer skills kicking a velcro soccer ball at a giant dart board, shoot hoops running down a bouncy track against a competitor, and try out an athletics favorite - jumping in the moon bounce. From tiny tikes to women in heels, guests raced like Czech running legend Emil Zátopek, to win a medal at the track and field stop. To cheer on friends and family, the Embassy gave out small Czech flags and red, white, and blue streamers to enthusiastic children and adults alike.
In the beer garden, attendees enjoyed grilled sausages and a variety of baked goods – berry pies, cakes, and cream croissants freshly made by La Bohemia Bakery. To top it off, a golden brew of Pilsner Urquell was on hand for those that wanted to toast to a victorious day at the Czech Embassy’s Olympic Village.