Seven-time Olympic gold medalist, Věra Čáslavská, has died

Seven-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics, and the most successful Czech Olympian of all time, succumbed on the evening of 30th August to the prolonged illness she had bravely been fighting. She was 74 years old.

Four-time world champion and star of the Olympic Games in Tokyo 1964 and Mexico 1968; in the years 1990–1996 she was President of the Czechoslovak and subsequently Czech Olympic Committee, and she remained its honorary president up to her death. From 1995 to 2001 she was a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Věra Čáslavská was one of the greatest ever Czech sporting personalities. At the Olympic Games in Mexico she famously protested against the Russian occupation. Many times in her life she found herself in difficult situations. She fought her final illness just as bravely.

“Věra Čáslavská was one of the outstanding personalities in the history of Czech sport. She was always a great example to others, whether as a gymnast, due to the stand she took on social issues, or the remarkable bravery she demonstrated in her private life. Right up to the end she was full of energy, which she was able to pass on to all those around her. We will miss her greatly,” said Jiří Kejval, President of the Czech Olympic Committee.

The Czech Olympic Committee expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of this gymnastics legend.

Foto: ČTK