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15.01.2013, 15:55
Czech Federation mourns death of Jiří Vícha
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Legendary Czechoslovakian goalkeeper passed away at the age of 81
 

Czech Federation mourns death of Jiří Vícha

Jiří Vícha, legendary goalkeeper and long-time coach of Dukla Prague and the Czechoslovakian national team, has passed away at the age of 81, after dealing with a long and serious illness.

Jiří Vícha was a one of the most successful athletes in Czech history. While playing for Dukla Prague, Vícha won the European Champions Cup twice, in 1957 and 1963, and once again as Dukla Prague’s head coach in 1985.

With the Czechoslovakian national team, Vícha’s achievements included two World Championship silver medals, in 1957 and 1961, and two bronze medals, in 1954 and 1964. Vícha also led Czechoslovakia to an Olympic silver medal in 1972 as coach.

The Czech Handball Federation celebrated the 1972 Olympic success with a team gathering at the recent New Year’s Cup in Brno. However, Jiří Vícha was unable to participate in the event due to illness, and passed away on Monday (14 January) afternoon.

Vicha enriched the handball world by developing new trends in the game, such as his goalkeeping positioning and technique, and the long passes to create fast breaks.

Vícha was an outstanding person with huge moral principles, the Czech Federation said in a statement. He was active for a long period in the Czech Olympic committee, and was a founder and vice president of the Czech Fair Play club.

Jiří Vícha received the silver Olympic Order from Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1998, one of the highest awards in the Olympic Movement.


TEXT: Jan Vtípil (CHF) / cor
 
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