By Richard Askwith
For a decade after the second one international struggle, Emil Zátopekthe Czech locomotive”redefined the game of distance working, pushing again the frontiers of what was once thought of attainable. He received 5 Olympic medals, set eighteen international files, and went undefeated within the 10,000-metre race for 6 years. His dominance hasn't ever been equaled.
In the darkest days of the chilly warfare, he stood for a spirit of beneficiant friendship that transcended nationality and politics. Zátopek used to be an brisk supporter of the Prague Spring in 1968, championing socialism with a human face” in Czechoslovakia. yet for this he paid a excessive cost. After the rebellion was once beaten by means of Soviet tanks, the hardline Communists had their revenge. Zátopek was once expelled from the military, stripped of his function in nationwide game, and condemned to years of challenging and degrading handbook labor.
Based on broad examine within the Czech Republic, interviews with humans internationally who knew him, and unheard of cooperation from his widow, fellow Olympian Dana Zátopková, journalist Richard Askwith’s publication breathes new lifestyles into the guy and the parable, uncovering an excellent age of athletics and an epoch-defining time in international history.
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Additional info for Today We Die a Little!: The Inimitable Emil Zátopek, the Greatest Olympic Runner of All Time
The air crew perform their safety drill, and I note with pleasure that I recognise several words. Maybe that teach-yourself-Czech audio programme is starting to work. Then I find myself thinking about the Jungwirth incident. I wonder if the puddled runway I can see through the window bears any resemblance to the view that Dana saw as she scanned the asphalt fretfully through an aeroplane window in the summer of 1952, wondering if Emil would appear. Then a startling thought occurs to me. That incident with Jungwirth – where is it?
The garden was scarcely less packed than the house, with goats, hens and geese jostling for space among trees and beehives. Children were expected to do their bit for animal husbandry, and would get into trouble for failing to do so. Emil once allowed the goats to get stuck in the clay of a nearby brick-making site (‘It was Bohuš’s idea’ was his excuse), and he was beaten at least once for helping himself to fruit. But the world beyond was, or seemed, a benign place. There were streets and fields to play in; they could swim in the River Lubina (notwithstanding the raw sewage that flowed into it a mile upstream); and the foothills of the Beskyd Mountains were near enough for occasional hiking adventures.
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