Karol Fako

* 1931  

  • “We had such privileges that they let us through. There were customs officers who knew us like own shoes, so they didn’t even check us anymore. As soon as they spotted us coming, they used to lift up the barriers. It was nice. I like to recall those times. We were able to bring them various things, too. Many times they were thirsty and unable to go away from the borderland, so we were good friends with them. We used to bring them beer or something like that. Those were good times for them as well as for us. I could have brought anything from abroad and they checked me just very briefly. But everything was fine.”

  • “There has always been a great rivalry with the Russians. There was no match we would play without a fight. Also our leaders took it as something normal. They said they took it as it was, and we were lucky because of that.”

  • “It was wonderful there, because every evening, there was such a recalling of the whole Olympic day in the village, what was simply amazing. It was something unforgettable and unique. I remember, there was a problem with a goalkeeper from Pardubice. They got mad at him and sent him home from the Olympics on his own costs. He did such things that one’s mind boggled at it. He shouldn’t have done that, I don’t get it at all. He knew we were at the Olympics and he did such stupidities that they sent him home by the first possible plane.”

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    Bratislava, Slovensko, 30.05.2018

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    duration: 01:02:55
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
  • 2

    Bratislava, Slovensko, 01.06.2018

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    duration: 01:02:55
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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I enjoyed when others scored goals

Contemporary portrait
Contemporary portrait
photo: Štartfoto

Karol Fako was born on November 24, 1931 in Bratislava. His sports beginnings are closely linked to the community of Salesians in Ružinov, Bratislava, where he used to do sports as a young boy. Later he decided for ice hockey and he started to play in Sports Club (ŠK) Bratislava. In 1952 as a soldier of the compulsory military service he joined military ice hockey clubs in Prague. Already in 1949, when during persecutions of the national team, some posts became vacant, Karol received a representational invitation. In 1956 he returned to play in Bratislava’s Slovan. Together with the forwards Ján Starší and Július Černický they gradually formed the legendary forward trio. In 1959 he represented Czechoslovakia in the World Championship and thanks to his assistance to goal of Miroslav Vlacho, the national team won bronze on the home ground. In 1960 he participated in winter Olympics in Squaw Valley in the United States. After ending his player career he engaged in couching, for example in Italy, Austria and mainly in Switzerland. Since 2004 he has been a member of the Slovak Ice Hockey Hall of Fame.