Summing up Martina Navrátilová’s incredible lifetime of achievements, Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright saluted her as the keynote speaker at the Gala Dinner held at the Czech Embassy with: “Any leader can help us to get where we want to go; inspirational leaders help us get where we ought to go. They cause us to believe that we – as individuals, or as a team, or as a gender, or as a nation, or as a world – can achieve goals that once seemed out of reach.” Adrienne Arsht, a business leader and philanthropist, and Lynda Carter, the newly appointed United Nations’ Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, notably attended the honorary dinner as Martina Navrátilová’s special guests.
Reflecting on her own influence, Martina Navrátilová plainly said in the candid, exclusive sit-down interview at the Washington Post that as an athlete “you earn” respect and “that’s why people look up to you.” However, she emphasized that she always tries to “stay true to herself,” despite her opinions preventing her from “getting onto the box of Wheaties.”
During the festival, this steadfast devotion to her causes and dominance over the ball at any age brought together a multitude of Czechs and Americans from all walks of life and all ages, from those who remembered Martina Navrátilová immigrating to the US from communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 in order to have a shot at capturing the world’s number 1 rank to those who watched her give a moving speech this October at the US State Department at the Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights.
Martina Navrátilová truly embodies the meaning of the Mutual Inspirations Festival. US President Barack Obama, granting a Presidential Message in honor of the celebrations, stated, “For generations, the Czech and American peoples have drawn meaning from the examples set by one another in the arts, in athletics, and through achievements spanning disciplines and mediums across our societies. Events like this reflect the bonds of friendship, cooperation, and collaboration that are at the core of the relationship between the United States and the Czech Republic.”
The Embassy of the Czech Republic thanks its partners and supporters for making the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2016 – Martina Navrátilová a success.