The Czech Republic Looks for Olympic Glory

altThe Olympic Games have kicked off in London and the Czech Republic is hoping to make a run for the gold. With dozens of athletes competing in a number of events, the Czechs are serious contenders for Olympic glory.

The Czech Republic made its Summer Olympic debut in 1996, three years after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Since then, Czech athletes have won a total of 33 medals at the games, with canoeing, shooting, and athletics among their most successful sports. The Czechs won three Golds and three Silvers at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and finished ranked #24 among all nations.

Czech athletes had competed at the Olympics as Czechoslovakia from 1920 to 1992 and as Bohemia from 1900 to 1912 (while under the Austro-Hungarian Empire).

Among the most successful Czech athletes are Emil Zátopek, the long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Games, and gymnast Vera Cavlaska, who collected seven gold medals and four silver medals in a career that spanned three Olympic Games from 1960 to 1968.