Eight Olympic medallists and eleven World Championship medal holders attended Top Camp in Hotel Imperial in Karlovy Vary from Saturday to Monday. The meeting of the top Czech athletes continued the first Top Camp held last May, attended by the future medallists from the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang and other representatives; this time the spa hotel accommodated thirty athletes crucial for the Czech Olympic Team for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Olympic winners Jaroslav Kulhavý and Miroslava Topinková Knapková as well as the world champions Vítězslav Veselý, Kateřina Kudějová, Ondřej Tunka, Vavřinec Hradilek, Jan Štěrba and Ondřej Synek and others came to Karlovy Vary. Last year, all the future medalists from Pyeongchang, apart from Ester Ledecká, were in Imperial.
“We support our athletes, not only at the Olympic Games, we also want to help them in the meantime. At the camp they got a lot of information that may be improve their performance. At the same time, they can influence the environment and service we prepare for them. And, last but not least, it is also important that they all meet and get to know each other personally,” said Martin Doktor, the sports director of the Czech Olympic Committee when mentioning the advantages of the meeting. Top Camp is a part of the Top Team project that offers funding and a number of service projects to medal aspiring sportsmen and sportswomen, which can help them improve details that often decide about sports successes.
Among other things, the athletes learned about acclimatization, they got information about sleepology and the effects of light, they heard a lecture of a physiotherapist Pavel Kolář, they discussed injury prevention, they had the opportunity to take a look at the background of the Czech Olympic Games mission and the Olympic Collection materials, they learned details about the Dual Career project, about drinking regime and the concept of the Czech House for Tokyo and they also tasted the products of Karel Rendl, the Czech Olympic Team baker.
“It is a great event because the athletes meet and get to know each other. Then at the Olympics, we can be one group, one team,” commented the fivefold world champion Synek happily. “We can go for spa procedures, we have learned a lot of interesting things that can improve our performance. And of course, it is a social event as well,” added a rower.
All the athletes present spoke highly about the camp. “For me it is totally unbelievable because I have never been at the Olympics, so I have just got an idea about all the things that are done for the Olympic athletes. It is great. I benefit from the fact that I was able to speak to Olympic medallists and I found out how they deal with preparation and what their conditions are,” said Nikola Ogrodníková, the European javelin vice-champion.