Michal Barda

* 1955  

  • “I was immensely lucky because the company kept growing. When I was not playing in the national team any more, the boss asked, You do not have any team now? Look, there's more and more people in the company, here's your team. If you want, you can do human resources. I started with it and I had to learn many new things again, I got a MBA meantime, it was my third school. And, I started to work in human resources beside the information technologies and computer systems. At the end, I was responsible for nineteen countries in Europe, Near East and Africa and it was over nine hundred people for which I was responsible, plus various projects, and the IT on the top of that. It filled my time and if was a fulfilling job so I was not involved in handball at all for some time. The other reason was, it was the same work with people as handball was.”

  • “This was a surreal moment. In the Šabac sports hall, there were about six and half thousand spectators, terrible noise, cigarette smoke so thick that we could barely see our noses. When the match [with Yugoslavian national team] ended, after the sevens, there was …., the spectators were disappointed and before they could set up the podium, they ushered us to the changing room, just in case, so that nobody would get hurt, the atmosphere was getting emotional. And before we went back to the hall to receive the European Cup, we the players started betting among themselves that in three months, in Los Angeles, we will win a medal. At that moment, ten minutes after the match, we were thinking about the Olympics. But then, after three months, we were sitting at home and our rivals, three months later, got Olympic gold in Los Angeles and we were sitting at home on our arses and we couldn't even watch TV because the Olympic broadcasts were not allowed.”

  • "The worst purges and punishments for those who behaved badly during August [1968] or families who emigrated and then they could not stand it and remain there and they came back after a year or two - those were punished rather harshly. Then the atmosphere changed, that something happens, not to everyone, but it could happen. I think that this caused more damage on the memory, or development of this nation than harsh punishments. Slow turning of the screw and waiting where someone will weaken, who will give up, who will bend their back. This I remember most from that time."

  • “We practically established handball in Samoa. This part of the world did not have its continental federation because there were not enough countries where handball would be played. At Samoa, we assembled about forty teachers, rugby playes, football players, PE teachers and we held a two-week course there. I was explaining handball for three days and on the third day, we played a match for the public. That was the official opening handball match with the Minister of culture, education and sports, he saw it the first time in his life. After the match, he had a celebratory speech in which he said that his fellow citizens are going to like handball because a plenty of them had already killed a pig by a thrown stone. This way, we established handball in Samoa.”

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    Eye direct, 15.11.2018

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    duration: 01:57:56
    media recorded in project Sports Stories of the 20th Century
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    Eye direct, 05.12.2018

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    duration: 01:28:40
    media recorded in project Sports Stories of the 20th Century
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The best thing handball gave me is a plenty of friends all across the world. We sometimes do not see each other for years but then, it is as if we met yesterday.

Accreditation card from the 1975 World University Games in Romania
Accreditation card from the 1975 World University Games in Romania
photo: archiv pamětníka

Michal Barda was born on the 27th June in 1955 in Prague. His mother was a dentist and his father was a construction engineer. When Michal was ten years old, his parents divorced and his mother raised him along with his stepfather; at this age, he started playing handball. He graduated from the high school, then named after Wilhelm Pieck, in Prague. When he was just seventeen, he played in the A team in Slavia. Soon, he qualified for the Czechoslovak representation team, with which he played 218 matches, as a goalkeeper he scored 4 goals and for 10 years, he was the team’s captain. He studied at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University and while still at the university, he got married. He went to serve in the army to Dukla, the army’s sports team in Prague, and after compulsory year of service, he stayed there as a professional officer and sportsman. With the Dukla team, he would regularly win the Czechoslovak handball league and in 1984, the team won the European Masters’ Cup. The Czechoslovak sportsmen could not participate in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles because the Soviet Union and its satellites decided not to take part in the games for political reasons. At the next Olympics in Seoul, the Czechoslovak national team participated and won the 6th place. Between 1987 and 1992, Michal played in the German league and at the same time, he studied at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of the Charles University in Prague. Then, he returned to Czechoslovakia. Along withVladimír Haber, he trained the Czech national team and helped them to achieve excellent results, especially between the years 1993 – 1996. He worked for a German technology company and rose to the post of IT director, later on, as a high-ranking human resources analyst responsible for the regions of Europe, Near East and Africa. Later on, he worked in the International Handball Federation, as a coach in Olympic Solidarity and as a trainer of Swiss national team goalkeepers. Since 2010, he’s been freelancing.