Ester Ledecká won the athletes' vote for the second time and received the Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský award. In addition, she successfully passed her state exams and received her master’s degree on the same day. And that was not all she experienced that Wednesday, June the fourteenth. She was also touched by the surprise she received after the award ceremony.
Skier and snowboarder Ester Ledecká received the award, named after the founder of the Czech Olympic Committee, for the first time in 2018, when she won two Olympic gold medals at the Pyeongchang Games in both alpine skiing and snowboarding.
Now she received it for her performance in 2022, when she triumphed in snowboarding at the Beijing 2022 Olympics. The award was presented to her by Mirka Topinková Knapková, herself an Olympic champion from London 2012. “I really appreciate it. It is a unique award because it is awarded by athletes who live a similar life to mine. It means a lot to me,” laughed Ester Ledecká after receiving the trophy, which weighs an impressive 29 kilograms.
PŘEKVAPENÍ! 🥳 Jonas Ledecky se svou kapelou překvapil ségru Ester Ledecká koncertem na předání ceny Gutha-Jarkovského! ❤️Zveřejnil(a) Český olympijský tým dne Čtvrtek 15. června 2023
The winners of the most prestigious Czech sports award are nominated by sports federations and the Czech Olympic Committee units. The top ten are then shortlisted by the Sports Commission of the Czech Olympic Committee, and the winners are selected by the athletes themselves. “I would like to thank all athletes and the Czech Olympic Committee for organizing this beautiful event. I am very happy to be here.” Ester Ledecka was also treated to a surprise performance by Cold Licks, the band her brother Jonáš Ledecký plays in, right at the headquarters of the Czech Olympic Committee.
The Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský Award
The award named after the founder of Czech Olympism, Jiří Stanislav Guth-Jarkovský, has the form of a 29-kg statue of Goddess Niké by sculptor Otakar Španiel, who created it in 1933. The first laureate was the weightlifter Václav Pšenička in 1934. The last person to receive it after WWII was runner Emil Zátopek in 1948; the tradition was then restored in 1994. It has been presented to Jan Železný, Kateřina Neumannová, Roman Šebrle, and the Nagano hockey players. Speed skater Martina Sáblíková and judoka Lukáš Krpálek won it three times.