Record-breaking climber Adam Ondra honoured with Guth-Jarkovský Award

Record-breaking climber, Adam Ondra, has been awarded the Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský Award, by his fellow Czech athletes, in recognition of his outstanding achievement last September, when he climbed the most difficult route in the world in Flatanger, Norway. The route was given a new difficulty rating of 9c, that made it the world`s hardest single rope-length climb.

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Cena J.S. Gutha–Jarkovského 2017

The Guth-Jarkovský Award is the most prestigious national sports award in the Czech Republic and is voted for by Czech athletes. The award is given to the Czech athlete they adjudge to set the most outstanding performance of the year.

“I am overjoyed; it is an award for the whole sport of climbing. Who would have imagined a few years ago that I would be the second person from our sport to receive this award,“ Ondra said. The first climber to receive the award was Radek Jaroš for year 2014. “I was very surprised to be nominated at all, and now I have won this prestigious award.”

Ondra has devoted himself to conquering the Flatanger route since 2013 and he titled his efforts to defeat it ‘Project Hard’. He has been to Norway seven times and wanted to be fully prepared for the ascent. In the end the climb to the top took just twenty minutes.

He rated this route to be the first ever climbed with a difficulty rating of 9c. Until then, the most difficult route completed was 9b+, of which there are only three in the world. Ondra has completed all three of these routes.

Before Project Hard, Ondra, one of the most famous climbers in the world, climbed the world-renowned Dawn Wall in Yosemite America, which he conquered in a record time. In addition, he is world champion and a multiple medallist in bouldering and lead climbing – disciplines that will make their Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

The Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský Award was presented to Ondra by rower Ondřej Synek, who won the trophy in 2015. He was also congratulated by President of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval, Secretary General Petr Graclík, and Director of Sport, Martin Doktor.

“I am very happy that the athletes chose Adam,“ said Jiří Kejval, Chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee. “I firmly believe that this prize will provide extra motivation when training for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where sport climbing has its debut. We all hope he will succeed there too.”

The holder of the most prestigious Czech sport award was, for the fourth time in a row, selected by members of the Czech Olympic teams that competed at Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, PyeongChang 2018, and the World Games in Wroclaw2017 and European Games in Baku 2015.

The main criterion? “The winning athlete must simply be the coolest of them all,” jokes David Svoboda, Chairman of the Athletes Committee of the Czech Olympic Committee, and Olympic Champion in the Modern Pentathlon at London 2012.

Adam Ondra fulfils this criterion with flying colours. “When David said that I had to laugh,” says the best Czech climber. “When I was young and people asked me what I wanted to be I would reply that above all I want to be cool!”

The athletes could vote for one of these ten nominees: the Czech Women’s ball hockey team, Jakub Jarolím (finswimming), Gabriela Koukalová (biathlon), Petra Kvitová (tennis), Ester Ledecká (alpine skiing and snowboarding), Adam Ondra (climbing), Martina Sáblíková (speed skating), Ondřej Synek (rowing), Barbora Špotáková (athletics), Ondřej Tunka (canoe slalom).

The award ceremony was attended by over thirty athletes, including, cyclists Leopold König and Petr Vakoč, tennis player Andrea Hlaváčková, decathlete Adam Sebastian Helcelet with partner Denisa Rosolová and three-week old daughterEvelin, sprint canoeist Josef Dostál, skier Kateřina Pauláthová, figure skater Anna Dušková and many other personalities from Czech sport.

The award named after the founder of Czech Olympism, Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský, was established in 1933, and the sculpture presented to winners of the goddess Nike was crafted by Otakar Španiel. It was first awarded in 1934 to weightlifter Václav Pšenička. The final recipient in the post-war period was runner Emil Zátopek in 1948. It would be 1994 before the tradition of this award was renewed. Since then many famous names have been added to the plaque on the granite base.

Last holders of the Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský Award

  • 2017 Adam Ondra
  • 2016 Lukáš Krpálek
  • 2015 Ondřej Synek
  • 2014 Radek Jaroš
  • 2013 Zuzana Hejnová
  • 2012 Mirka Knapková
  • 2011 Petra Kvitová
  • 2010 Martina Sáblíková
  • 2009 Josef Váňa
  • 2008 Barbora Špotáková
  • 2007 Martina Sáblíková