“I remember quite well the days of August 1968, as we just came from a holiday, me and my parents. And as we came home, all of a sudden, there was this commotion all around the house, and I just kept hearing: 'There's gonna be war! There's gonna be war!' That was my first experience, the second one being that as I went to school, being a first-grader, I went to school for the first time, so proud with that bag of mine and all that, and there were tanks standing in the middle of the road. That's something I remember quite well.”
“Being third didn't bother me at all, I was so happy. I managed to achieve my childhood dream, I won a medal at the Olympics and I just didn't care what its colour was. I didn't care, maybe later, as I would see the recordings, I thought: Well, I could have done this, as it was quite a difference after all, to win at the Olympics or end up third, there was no doubt about that. But at that time, I just didn't care, I achieved my dream and I was just full of joy and satisfaction. But I felt bad about slalom, as we had to compete on the next day, and I ended tenth, no matter what I did.”
“Since youth, I knew what I wanted to achieve in sports, and I knew what I would like to be doing when I would grow up. My mother was a dentist and I just wanted to do that. To be a doctor, a dentist, that was the thing I was dreaming about. I used to pretend to be a dentist since I was a child, I liked that, and I had no idea that someone someday could just tell me: No, you would never study something like that. And that was the thing that had happened to me. I went to do the exams at a medical school, I wanted to do dentistry, and they sent me this letter that I didn't pass the exam, that I didn't qualify. Being an athlete, used to both wining and losing, I told myself: 'Okay, you are dumb, you didn't get in. So you would do what your father did, physical education, and you would try to do your best. Later I found out that I didn't pass the exams not because of my results, but because some woman from the Socialist Youth Union didn't like me, as I told her that I couldn't do voluntary work, like harvesting hops, is I had better things to do.”
I always thought I would be winning, that I would compete at the Olympics
Olga Charvátová Křížová was born June 11, 1962, in Gottwaldov (nowadays known as Zlín). Her parents, Olga and Dušan Charvát, encouraged her to do sports, at first, she did gymnastics, but later she found out that alpine skying was the thing for her. In 1977, she won the sliver medal at the European Junior Championship in Kranjska Gora. A year later, she ended up ninth at the World Championship in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. From 1982 to 1986, she won fifteen medals at several World Cups, even two Golds in Megève (1983) and in Piancavallu (1986). in 1984, she won a bronze medal in downhill skying at the Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games, being the first Czech female skier to achieve this. In 1986, she completed her postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Athletics and Sport, Charles University, Prague. She ended her career being just 23 years old, citing inappropriate training conditions as a cause, yet at the same time she won the ‘Queen of the White Track’ diploma. In 1986, she married Radovan Kříž, gave birth to Klára, Dušan and Iva. Since 1986, she taught at the Faculty of Technology in Zlín, in the 1990s, she started a business with her husband. She had been working as a coach for almost twenty years. Nowadays, she had been living in Krkonoše with her family.