František Jursa

* 1933  

  • “They made us get on a bus and they transported us to the port. We got a cabin in the underdeck where the walls were slanted. The name of the ship was ‘Gruzie’ (Georgia), it was a Polish ship and the Soviets had gotten her after the war as a reparation for debts after World War Two and they turned her into a large cruise ship for passengers. The ship’s homeport was in the Black Sea and she arrived for us and reached Vladivostok and she was sent there to bring things for the Soviets. There were cars, and the ship had her own farm, there were sheep and hens on board, at first I did not know it at all, but when we were on the way back, I saw that the Russians had had to buy foodstuffs, sheep, and poultry, and there was a regular farm on the ship, rabbits, roosters, hens, simply everything.”

  • “I did not have an idea what to do. My brother was a photographer, so I thought that I would work as a sports photographer, but they approached me and asked me whether I would be interested in establishing an army cycling team in Brno, where the cycling sport flourished greatly at that time, a race track was being built here, and the officials were here and he tried to persuade me to accept it, but I did not feel confident enough, I was twenty-four at that time, but I eventually accepted the offer and so I was appointed to lead an army team in Černá Pole numbering one plus six members. It still continues there up to the present.”

  • “The commander of the unit was captain Macourek, he was a gamekeeper and a wise man, and when I came to him, he told me: “I wish you prosperity, and I will set up an environment for you that will suit you’ I think that he has kept his word. When we published a book about Dukla, I was searching for him, and one day I accidentally met him on the street and so I thanked him profusely and we remembered the old times.”

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    Brno, 03.10.2018

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Dukla Brno was and still is dear to my heart

František Jursa
František Jursa
photo: vlastní

František Jursa was born on May 1, 1933 in Brno. When he was a young boy, his parents gave him his first bicycle as a birthday present and he managed to break it during his first race. His parents did not want him to pursue cycling, but František’s desire was stronger. In 1952 he won his first road race. He defeated Jan Veselý, a Czechoslovak cyclist who was the winner of the Peace Race. A year later František went to Prague and he began preparing for the Olympic Games in Melbourne there. He finished the fifth in a team pursuit race on a four-kilometre track. Czechoslovak athletes unexpectedly had to leave the Olympic Games earlier due to the dramatic events in Hungary. The leader of the national team feared that the athletes might emigrate and therefore they were ordered to quickly pack their belongings, board a ship and set out on the journey home. After his return from the Olympic Games, František turned from an active athlete into a manager. He received an offer to establish an army cycling club in Brno, called Dukla Brno, and he began raising future champions of the Czechoslovak cycling sport. Due to frequent emigrations of his charges abroad, he led the Dukla Brno club only until 1963 when he was forced to quit. Communist officials criticized him for his poor job in the area of political education. František then remained in the club as a coach. At present he serves as the chairman of the sports club TJ Dukla Brno. He lives in Brno-Husovice with his daughter.