This May has marked the eightieth anniversary since the birth of gymnast Věra Čáslavská, an outstanding international athlete. The life of the seven-times Olympic champion is celebrated in an exhibition designed by the National Museum in Prague. Next to unique photographs, visitors can, for the first time, see the most complete collection of her medals and awards. It features Olympic medals from Tokyo and Mexiko, medals from World and European Championships, and other awards, including the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan.
Some personal items, including the wedding dress she wore in Mexiko to her wedding with athlete Josef Odložil, are also on display in this exhibition created in cooperation with the Czech Olympic Academy. „Back on that day, there were maybe a hundred thousand people gathered around the church. There were many people behind our backs. We were holding the crowds back so that Věra and Josef can walk to the altar,“ remembers gymnast Bohumil Mudřík who ranked fourth with his team at the 1968 Games. „This is a lovely collection of items showing Věra’s life. She was a great woman. “
A censored edition of The Road to Olymp (Czech: Cesta na Olymp) with a note written in Věra Čáslavská’s own hand is also on display. Her private life is pictured in photographs by Karel Novák. Some footage and photographs were lent from the International Olympic Committee. Visitors can also see the Olympic Order and the ID card of the Chairwoman of the Czechoslovak Olympic Committee. A decree in which Věra Čáslavská is appointed as an advisor to Czechoslovak President Václav Havel is a tribute to the power of her personality.