June 24, 2021, 3:55 PM
The Embassy of the Czech Republic honors Věra Čáslavská, via its twelfth annual Mutual Inspirations Festival. Věra Čáslavská (1942 –2016) was an incredible athlete, winning a total of 34 medals, including 22 gold medals, at the Olympic Games and at the World and European championships in the 1950s and 60s. She was also a strong advocate of democracy in former communist Czechoslovakia. Despite her absolute dominance at the 1968 Olympic Games, she was penalized by her own government for her subtle act of defiance upon the podium against the Soviet invasion of her nation. Over twenty years later with the fall of the totalitarian regime in 1989, she was able to gain the recognition she had been denied. She became the President of the Czech Olympic Committee and served as an advisor to late President Václav Havel.
In celebration of her achievements and courage, the festival will focus on mutual transatlantic inspirations and, in promotion of everyone’s good health and fitness, the legacy of an Olympian we can all be inspired by.
Photo courtesy of the National Museum in Prague