Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Prague school to bear name of legendary gymnast Čáslavská

ČTK |
21 September 2017

Prague, Sept 20 (CTK) - An elementary school in Prague's 6th district will newly bear the name of Vera Caslavska, the legendary Czech gymnast and Olympic gold winner who died last year, the town hall's spokesman Ondrej Sramek has told CTK.

He said an athletic competition the town hall annually organises for children will also be named after Caslavska.

In June, the district assembly granted honorary citizenship in memoriam to Caslavska, a seven times Olympic gold winner and four times world artistic gymnastics champion in the 1960s.

The elementary school in Prague's western Petriny neighbourhood will officially bear Caslavska's name as of the next school year.

"It is an elementary sports school, which is why the choice was quite easy. I believe that the naming of the school after Caslavska is the right step because it will permanently remind hundreds of children of her name as an example to follow," Prague 6 Mayor Ondrej Kolar said.

Caslavska died in Prague a year ago, aged 74.

At an Olympic medal-giving ceremony in 1968, she made a gesture condemning the August 21, 1968 Soviet-led military invasion of Czechoslovakia by turning her head away from a Soviet gymnast when the Soviet anthem was played.

Later on the same year, she signed the 2000 Words pro-democracy appeal. After communist hardliners seized power in the country, she was expelled from the CSTV sports association.

In January 1990, she became an adviser and later an assistant to the first post-communist president Vaclav Havel.

In 1990-1996, she headed the Czechoslovak and later the Czech Olympic Committee (COV). She was a member of the International Olympic Committee in 1995-2001.

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