Posted: June 25, 2008
VICTORY Cyclist Roman Kreuziger won the Tour of Switzerland June 22, ahead of Germany’s Andreas Kloden and Spain’s Igor Anton. The Tour of Switzerland is, after the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta, the fourth most-prestigious stage race in professional cycling. Kreuziger’s victory is the greatest international triumph in the history of Czech cycling.
APPOINTMENT Hockey guru Vladimír RÅ¯žička was appointed the head coach of the national team June 21. RÅ¯žička has already guided the team in the past, winning a gold medal at the 2006 World Championship in Vienna. This season, he coached Slavia Praha to the Extraliga title.
CHAIRMAN At the same time, the Czech Ice Hockey Association (ČSLH) elected Tomáš Král as its new chairman. He takes over from outgoing Vratislav Kulhánek. Král, a lawyer by profession, headed PlzeÅˆ’s hockey club in the Extraliga this season.
STRAKA Newly appointed ČSLH Chairman Tomáš Král said he did not plan to “completely withdraw” from the PlzeÅˆ organization and revealed that he has been luring New York Rangers veteran forward Martin Straka to the club. Should the 36-year-old agree, he would also work in an unspecified managerial position with the team.
JÁGR Hockey star Jaromír Jágr is likely to continue playing with the NHL’s New York Rangers next season. Rumors had it that Jágr, who captained the Rangers last season, could move to Russia’s Avangard Omsk. However, the Rangers’ general manager, Glenn Sather, said the organization was interested in extending his contract.
DRAFT NHL clubs showed little interest in Czech players during the NHL Entry Draft June 21 in Ottawa, Canada. Only three Czech players, defensemen Tomáš Kundrátek and Michael Jordán and forward Tomáš Kubalík, were drafted, the lowest number of Czech draftees since 1981. Also, the highest Czech pick this year, Kundrátek (90th overall), is the lowest ranked top pick in the draft since 1978.
F1 Czech schools will join a Formula One school project aimed at creating future engineers capable of working for Formula One teams. Small groups of up to six people will compete to build a functioning model of a Formula One car. About 90-120 schools in the country are expected to participate.
CRITICISM The head coach of Slavia Praha, Karel Jarolím, criticized midfielder Vladimír Šmicer’s work as a commentator for TV Prima at Euro 2008. Šmicer, 34, joined Slavia from Bordeaux last summer but spent most of the season off the pitch due to injuries, including a season-ending injury to his Achilles tendon. Jarolím said Šmicer should focus on recovering from the injury rather than commenting on the tournament.
PARALYMPICS Disabled cyclist Michal Stark’s candidacy for the Paralympic Games is in jeopardy after the Czech Cycling Federation (CSC) banned him from competition for a month. Stark wore the national team’s outfit at several recent races, including the European Cup in Crete and the Pan-American Games, in violation of CSC rules. Stark won two silver medals in Crete.