A spectacle of festivities is underway in Mexico City commemorating the 50thanniversary of the Summer Olympics of 1968: a year that left its mark on Czech as well as world history. The most successful female athlete of the Olympics, and of the year 1968, was Czechoslovak gymnast Věra Čáslavská. Her popularity went beyond the world of sports. That same year, she was the second most popular woman on the planet, after former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
The Vera Caslavka Foundation participated in the opening ceremony of the sports section of the Re:publika 1918 – 2018 Festival. A special display of 7 panels presents various periods of Věra’s life from childhood through the period after 1989.
The Věra Čáslavská Endowment Fund officially opened its doors on October 10, 2017. The endowment fund promotes Mrs Čáslavská’s convictions in the virtues of fair play and kalokagathia by supporting examples of honorable sports and civic behavior, as well as the defense of individual civil liberties. The Endowment Fund embraces the responsibility to promulgate Mrs Čáslavská’s noble beliefs as an ongoing inspiration for future generations.
On October 12, 1968, the Games of the XIX Olympiad opened in Mexico. Věra Čáslavská successfully defended her victories from the previous Summer Olympics in Tokyo, winning 4 gold medals and 2 silver Olympic medals. Mexico was also the culmination of her athletic career and after the Olympics closed, she married track and field athlete Josef Odložil. In 1968, she was declared the greatest female athlete in the world; she was the second most popular woman on the planet after Jacqueline Kennedy.
the Vera Caslavska Foundation will be celebrating it's first birthday on May 15th! We've already begun taking our first baby steps, and have even made a few large steps. The Foundation will proudly be participating in the RE:PUBLIKA 1918-2018 Festival that will be taking place at the Brno Exhibition Center from May 26 - June 17. Come visit us at V PAVILON. We've launched a project called 'Stand up Straight' with nursery schools in the Czech Republic.
On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Municipal District of Prague 6 ceremoniously bestowed honorary citizenship to five noteworthy individuals. Receiving the distinction posthumously were Věra Čáslavská, painter and graphic designer Emil Filla, and WWII hero, Lt. General Jaroslav Klemeš who passed away on August 7, 2017. The other individuals receiving the distinction were oncologist Dr. Jiří Zámečník, CSc., and Czech historian Prof. Vilém Prečan.
Memorial events around the Czech Republic commemorated the occupation of Czechoslovakia 50 years ago. At the time, Věra Čáslavská was in Jeseníky preparing for her final Olympic games in Mexico 1968. A memorial event commemorating “all courageous people and Věra Čáslavská” took place in Kouty nad Desnou in Jeseníky, followed by a Mass in Vřesová Studánka. The successful event was organized under the auspices of the Czech Olympians Club.
The National Theatre Brno presented the world premiere of the play Věra on March 2, 2018. The production, subtitled Floor exercise of an extraordinary life, deals with courage, fame, responsibility, heroism, truth and good fortune.
Ascent to the very pinnacle of Olympus and then an abrupt fall. New victories and defeats. The fascinating, nearly heroic story of a woman who refused to give up. A new play by the most-produced playwright in Brno – inspired by the fortunes of Věra Čáslavská.
A new commemorative postage stamp in the “Personalities” series pays tribute to prominent Czech sportswoman Věra Čáslavská. The stamp was publicly released on May 3, 2017. Graphic designer Zdeněk Netopil designed the face value 16 CZK stamp, as well as the first day cover (FDC) and the celebratory handstamp. Bohumil Šneider engraved the FDC. The release of the stamp on her birthday was in public remembrance of what would have been Mrs Čáslavská 75th birthday.
The Vera Caslavska Foundation ceremoniously accepted a generous donation from Mr. Okinaka, who personally organized the fund-raising campaign in Ōita. The donation will be used primarily to support the Stand p Straight project for pre-school age children, and to promote Vera Caslavska’s legacy in the Czech Republic and the world.