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Exhibition Zatopek

Venue: 15.7. – 31.8.2016, Gallery on the Fence of the Czech Embassy

On the occasion of the Olympic Games we are inviting you to the exhibition of comics by Jaromír 99 from his newly published graphic novel about the life of one of the most famous Czech athletes, Emil Zátopek, considered by many to be the greatest runner of all time. The story was written by Jan Novák and it describes Zátopek’s greatest achievements as well as his relationship with the love of his life, Dana Zátopková. The book was published by Czech Olympic Committee together with Argo and Paseka Publishing houses. The exhibition is organized by Czech Centre Tel Aviv in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic.




Emil Zátopek (1922-2000) was a legendary Czech runner who completely changed the training methods in track. Pushing the limits of the body is what made him a phenomenal runner and one of the most famous athletes. When he won the 10km race at the 1948 Olympic Games in London and finished second on the 5km track, he didn’t consider it a great achievement. At the next Olympics in Helsinki he won three gold medals and became a legend, but he also achieved a more important victory — he stood up against the Communist regime by insisting that his colleague, Stanislav Jungwirth, who was originally banned from travelling to Helsinki for political reasons, be allowed to compete. Zátopek's legacy will be honored at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where Czech athletes will sport their national team uniforms with a self-portrait drawn by the decorated Olympic athlete Emil Zátopek.


Jaromír Švejdík (aka Jaromír 99) is an artist, musician, and animator. In 2016, he published with Jan Novák a new comics about the legendary Czech runner Emil Zatopek. In 2012, Jaromír accepted an offer from the British publishing company SelfMadeHero, to make Franz Kafka’s novel The Castle into a comic. Publishersweekly.com described the work as a “powerful interpretation of Kafka’s timeless themes.” For this adaptation, he and co-creator David Zane Mairowitz received a nomination from San Diego’s Will Eisner Awards 2014, for Best Adaptation from Another Medium. As a graphic artist, he also co-created with Jaroslav Rudiš the comic Alois Nebel, which was made into an animated feature and selected as the Czech entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the 2011 Academy Awards. The film was also named the Best Animated Feature at the 2012 European Film Awards. Additionally, he composed the soundtrack for the film. Previously, Jaromír created the comic Bomber and collaborated with his band Jaromír 99 & The Bombers on the soundtrack. He was awarded the Muriel Prize for his first solo comic strip “Bomber.” He has also worked as set designer and storyboard artist for films such as Samotáři (Loners), Jedna ruka netleská (One Hand Can't Clap), and Grandhotel. 

Jan Novák is a Czech American writer, playwright, and screenwriter. His books include On the Far Side of the Pond; Grandpa; So Far, So Good; Commies, Crooks, Gypsies, Spooks & Poets; The Grand Life; The Willys Dream Kit; and Striptease Chicago. Among other laudations, he was awarded two Carl Sandburg prizes for the Best Book of the Year by the Chicago Public Library and the Magnesia Litera for the Czech Book of the Year in 2004. He has translated numerous works from Czech into English, including Václav Havel's one-act plays, published under the title of Občan Vaněk/Citizen Vaněk and his authorized adaptation of Havel’s first full-length theater piece is called the Office Party. As a screenwriter, Jan Novak worked with Milos Forman on the film Valmont; in 1990's, he wrote the script for Bajecna leta pod psa (the Wonderful Years that Sucked), a box office smash in the Czech Republic; he also scripted Nedodrzany slub (Broken Promise) the Slovak nominee for the Foreign Oscar in 2009. In the years 1998-2016, Bratislava's Astorka Theatre has had in its repertory his plays An Ax Murder in St. Peterburg and Tolstoy and Money.