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Czech Olympic Champion Vera Caslavska dies

On Wendesday morning, I was struck by the grievous news of passing away of Ms. Věra Čáslavská, sevenfold olympic winner, fourfold world champion and elevenfold champion of Europe in Olympic gymnastics. She won three out of her seven gold olympic medals at the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo. As always in her life, she fought her last struggle with the insidious disease with utmost bravery and was supported by an incredible number of fans in Czechia, in her beloved Japan and all over the world.

Věra Čáslavská contributed significantly to the development of the Czech – Japanese relations. It is at least partially thanks to her that the Czechs have such a hearty relation to Japan and the Japanese and vice versa, the Japanese to Czechia and the Czechs. In recognition of this contribution she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun and decorated by the emperor of Japan. In May 2016, she was also awarded the Gratias Agit medal which she received from hands of the minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic. I can only attest from my personal experience that since the moment when I arrived to Japan in the capacity of the new ambassador of the Czech Republic, almost on every occasion my Japanese friends and partners recalled Ms. Věra Čáslavská and showed vivid interest in her life.

Faithful to her deep affection to the country of the rising sun, shortly before her passing away Ms. Věra Čáslavská, jointly with presidents of lower chambers of parliaments of the two countries, Mr. Tadamori Oshima and Mr. Jan Hamáček, accepted membership in the Honorary Comittee of the Year of the Czech Culture in Japan 2017. By her membership „in memoriam“ she will continue in fulfilling her lifelong mission to present her own country to the country where she had so many friends and so much support. Allow me to use this occasion to convey to all friends and fans of Ms. Věra Čáslavská in Japan my sincere and deep condolences.

A Book of Condolences will be open at the Embassy of the Czech Republic at 2-16-14 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, 150-0012 Tokyo,

on Friday, 2 September 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00 hours and

on Monday, 5 September 2016 from 10:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00 hours

for those saddened by passing away of Ms. Věra Čáslavská and willing to write several farewell lines. A documentary film of Ms. Olga Sommerová, commemorating the life of Ms. Věra Čáslavská under the title of „Věra 68“, will be shown in the premises of the Embassy of the Czech Republic on Monday, 5 September 2016, at 19:00 hours. It will be possible to sign the Book of Condolences also on this occasion, from 18:30 to 19:00 hours.

 

                                                                                                                                             Tomáš Dub

                                                                                                              Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Japan

České republiky v Japonsku