Milena Duchková-Neveklovská

* 1952  

  • “Of course, we couldn´t go to Czechoslovakia, that was impossible till the 1989. We were trying to sort it out; for the whole time we tried to legalise our emigration so there would be no problem but it took a very long time. Only after 1989 there was an amnesty so after that we could come. As we were sentenced, by the way. Mostly, they gave men a three-year sentence and women would get a year-and-a-half sentence, but I also got three years so for some time, I was a criminal. But now again, I am not. In 1985, we went to Europe, I met my sister in Yugoslavia and then the whole family went to Hungary; my sister came, my brother with his family and also my husband´s parents and his brother, so we spent a week together. Then it began to thaw, so before the 1989, my husband´s patent would come to visit us and also my brother, my sister and my husband´s brother would come to Canada. In 1986-87, condition were a bit less rigid after all.”

  • “After that (when Mrs. and Mr. Neveklovský decided to stay in Canada), everything had been wiped out. Newly published books on the Olympics didn´t mention diving at all. Then in 1989, they would be swept out and my name would appear in the books once again.” – “Do you know where the hoax story about your funeral came from?” – “I didn´t know about my alleged funeral for years; I learned about it just few years ago. They say that the newsreel reported I was buried at Olšany Cemetery. I would like to know whether the grave has been there for real, I didn´t get the time to inquire. But at least they buried me at Olšany, that´s a nice cemetery. And as they buried me once already, maybe I will live long. It happened to me once, so why to die for a second time.”

  • “Naturally, after we announced that we were staying in Canada, it was all over the press. Then they would call from the embassy several times, they were inquiring why we were doing this and wanted us to come to discuss it. And of course, we didn´t go to the embassy, we replied that we have decided and that it was up to us to decide. From other sources we were advised to keep an eye on our child, but we have been looking after our daughter all the time anyway. And that was all that happened. There were several phone calls. If or how they kept an eye on us, we didn´t know.”

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    Praha, 25.09.2018

    (audio)
    duration: 01:31:55
    media recorded in project Tipsport for Legends
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For every jump, there is a first time

Mileny Duchková´s first jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico
Mileny Duchková´s first jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico
photo: archiv pamětnice

The youngest Czechoslovak Olympic medal winner was born on April 25th of 1952 in Praha, her father was physician, her mother was a teacher. At the age of eight she began to train diving under the guidance of Marie Čermáková. As a sixteen-year-old she won Ten-meter diving at the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968; in the same event, she won European Championship in Barcelona 1970, won silver medal at the Olympics in Munich and also at the first swimming world championship in Belgrade in 1973. Shortly after the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal, where she didn´t qualified for the finals due to an injury, she ended her career and began to work as dentist. In 1980, she went to Canada with her husband on a one-year contract to train the local national team; after that both she and her husband applied for political asylum in Canada. She worked as a diving coach and as a dentist, after getting a degree in dentistry in Canada. In 1983, she entered Florida´s International Swimming Hall of Fame; in 1999 she had been named Czech Female Swimmer of the Century.