Vera Caslavska

Vera Caslavska

Birth
Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Death 30 Aug 2016 (aged 74)
Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 169135521 · View Source
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Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athlete. She was a very popular gymnast who won a total of seven gold medals at two consecutive Olympic Games (1964 and 1968). She originally was a figure skater, but switched over to gymnastics. In her debut international event in 1958, she won a silver medal in the team event. She also captured a silver medal in the team event at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Her breakout year was in 1961 when she won bronze in the all around at the European championships. By 1962, she fought for the all-around title at the World Championships, losing out to Larisa Latynina. She was at her peak at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, winning the overall title and taking gold medals in the balance beam and the vault, in addition to another silver medal in the team event. She would finally win a team gold at the 1966 World Championships, breaking the Soviet monopoly in that event. A vocal critic of the Soviet Union, she was forced into hiding in 1968 after signing a document calling for political reforms. She fled to a mountain village but was later given permission to return to the Olympic team, which she did just weeks before the Mexico City Olympics. She went on to win gold in the vault, the individual all-round, the floor exercises and the uneven bars in Mexico City, before turning her head in silent protest during the Soviet national anthem. Due to her support for the Czech democratization movement, she was forced to retire from gymnastics. She was considered "persona non grata" in Czechosolvakia until the reforms of the late 1980s brought about political change in her home country. In her later years she served as president of the Czech Olympic Committee (COC), won the Pierre de Coubertin Prize for promoting fair play in 1989 and was also awarded the Olympic Order. She passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer.

Bio by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye


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  • Created by: Mr. Badger Hawkeye
  • Added: 31 Aug 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 169135521
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vera Caslavska (3 May 1942–30 Aug 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 169135521, ; Maintained by Mr. Badger Hawkeye (contributor 46542485) Unknown.