Czech athletes won a record twenty medals at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Maribor, Slovenia. “We earned all sorts of medals, especially gold. The medals are nice, but for the athletes themselves, the experience they had here is much more valuable,” said Martin Doktor, the head of the delegation.
Czechs claimed nine gold, four silver and seven bronze medals in total. This is the list of medals earned by the Czech team at the EYOF in Maribor, where over 2,600 athletes from 48 European countries came to compete. In the overall national ranking, the Czech Republic finished in a great 5th place. “Other countries like Italy, France and Romania were amazed how well we did. They were not used to such performance by Czech athletes, but they rooted for us. And that was great. Moreover, it was amazing that we won medals in seven of the ten sports we competed in,” said Doktor.
Czech athletes earned eleven medals and became the best track and field team in Maribor. The Czech tennis players won gold and bronze, while the premiere of the mountain bike race at the EYOF was decorated with gold by biker Kryštof Bažant. After eighteen long years with no medals at all, Czech gymnasts took home a silver and two bronze medals. Judo and swimming also delivered bronze. The volleyball team was third, just like in 2022.
It helped that the ninety-five Czech athletes aged 14 to 18 cheered for each other at races and other competitions. “You cannot lose if you have such support,” joked Julie Paštiková, the tennis player who won gold in singles and bronze in doubles with her partner Tereza Krejčová on the courts of Maribor.
Zobrazit příspěvek na Instagramu
Winners were traditionally announced in the village every evening. “It was great. We really liked it that one big team across all sports was created here,” said Peter Meindlschmid, who won gold in long-distance running.
Czech athletes at the EYOF received a nice surprise – a visit of Tomáš Bábek, a successful track cyclist who not only cheered when they competed but also debated with them about how to prepare for the transition from sport to their next career, how to cope with the demands of high-level competitive sport, how to face defeats or how to handle their first doping control.