Biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, freestyle & freeski, figure skating, ice hockey, short track speed skating, Nordic combined, Alpine skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding – these are the categories in which students will compete for medals, best placements and personal records in the next ten days. The Czech university team would like to build on the previous successes of students who brought home a number of medals from the last Winter Universiade.
Most prominent among Czech medal hopefuls are Alpine skiers Tomáš Klinský (silver medal at the 2019 Universiade) and Jan Zabystřan, speed skater Veronika Antosová (double gold and one bronze medal at the 2022 World University Speed Skating Championships in Lake Placid), biathlete Tereza Jandová and cross-country skier Adéla Nováková. For the first time in history, the Czech Republic is sending a women’s ice hockey team to compete alongside the men’s team, and hopes are high it will do very well.
Speed skater Veronika Antošová from the Faculty of Sports Studies (FSpS) and biathlete Tereza Jandová (FSpS) are both MU students. The line-up for MU is completed by skier Adam Klíma (Faculty of Economics and Administration), biathletes Lenka Bártová (FSpS), Veronika Novotná (FSpS) and Josef Kabrda (FSpS), cross-country skier Pavlína Votočková (FSpS), figure skater Petr Kotlařík (FSpS) and hockey player Matěj Novák (FSpS).
The World University Games (formerly called the Universiade) are an important event for the Czech Republic’s international sports representation and the participation is thus generously sponsored by the National Sports Agency. Individual teams and athletes are sent in close coordination with the relevant sports associations and departmental sports centers: Victoria VSC, Ministry of Defence, Dukla Prague, Ministry of Interior, and Olymp Prague.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C., is also interested in the Czech university team’s participation in the US-held games and is in contact with the team’s management. A meeting in Lake Placid is planned as part of the official opening ceremony of the Winter World University Games and the Czech Ambassador to the USA, Miloslav Stašek, alongside the Embassy’s delegation are expected to show up at the sports venues to support Czech athletes during the competitions.
Lake Placid is located in upstate New York near the border with Canada. In 1980, the small American town hosted the 13th Winter Olympic Games. At that time, the Czechoslovak team took home a single medal when Květa Jeriová won bronze in the 5 km cross-country skiing competition.
Detailed information about the event is available on the Lake Placid 2023 official website. Online coverage can be watched on the web and regular reports will be broadcast by Czech Television at ČT Sport.