Willamette World News

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Speedskating and XC Skiing

The number one sport in the Czech Republic is indisputably ice-hockey, as Jaromir Jagr, Dominik Hasek, and many other Czech hockey starts demonstrated in the NHL. However, the Olympics did not go very well for the Czech hockey team. The star of this year’s Games was certainly the 21-year old Speedskating sensation Martina Sablikova, who won two gold medals.

The funny thing about her is that there is actually no Speedskating rink in Czech. So she trains on frozen lakes, roller skates and in hockey stadiums, which are far too small for speedskating events. Yet, she managed to break perhaps every world record and win two gold medals and one bronze at the age of 21. Maybe someone will build her a rink now and she’ll get even better!
Another hopeful was Lukas Bauer, the XC skier who just before the Olympics won the over-all title of “Tour de Ski,” the main all season series of World Cup XC skiing. However, he only finished with one bronze, which was disappointing. At least the Czech relay guys won bronze, which was an unexpected surprise. XC Skiing is also extremely popular where I’m from. At this time of the year, there is usually still snow so you can ski December – March.
Thank you for reading!
Jan Taborsky

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