Ing., Mgr. Gabriel Kollár

* 1952  

  • "Commander of Dukla Olomouc came to see me. We knew each other very well. I was there for two years and we had a very good relationship. That was before the gold barrage, because they wanted the title at all costs. Listen, you can't win here! Say what you want and we'll give you everything. But you must not win! `I say to him, 'Commander, I am an athlete. I don't do it for money. I do it for honor. For me, the ultimate dream is to win the title. You have nothing to offer me. I will fight to the last hit.` So horrified he left because he thought he would handle it. That would give me some money, but I didn't need any. I was fencing, but there was almost blood. He would have killed me so he wouldn't lose. It was a wild final, but I lost. "

  • "When the fun started, I actually spent the first week in the TV newspaper window. I shot it all with my own professional camera. Because I will tell you honestly, I did not believe that it would succeed. I didn't believe it in those first days. I experienced a '68 year when Russian tanks were set on fire here. I had a very bad experience. I told myself that Russian tanks would fire here again, in fact they were here at the time, but they will occupy our squares and we are on the move. They start firing. The end. We did not know, of course, what we learned later, that these were long ago other agreements in the highest places. It was agreed that it would succeed. But I was not politically active, I was not an official. I also spent 1988 and 1989 in Kuwait. I didn't have any news. The whole family lived there. I had a little six-year-old daughter and wife there. I had no such intimate messages. I didn't know what was going on at home and then I just saw it…. I say, I filmed live for a week. I have recorded 15 to 20 hours of those performances by Budaja, Kňažko and the others. I experienced it so emotionally. I didn't stick down with the keys, but I documented it on my own from the TV newspaper window. "

  • "My mother's friend called. Please, something terrible is happening. The whole Košice is full of tanks. I don't know what tanks are, what they are. Someone probably occupied us.` We already knew that they would occupy us. Because, coincidentally, I was with modern pentathlons in Hungary. Just across the border. And there were already an awful lot of troops on the hungarian-czechoslovak border. What are they doing here ?! Ten meters from the border crossing. Is that abnormal ?! I was fifteen years old, I didn't understand it, but there were also older people who said, 'Something's going on here! There was something going on here, some exercise. So the exercise was such that they then entered our territory two days later, on August 20, if I remember correctly. They were already here at night. I ran, I got dressed quickly. I pulled on my sweatpants and ran downstairs. And I welcomed them. With crying. That's when I realized ... that's when I became an adult. I realized that life is about something else. We didn't know what would happen. War, or what will be shot? There was also a little shooting, but because the Czechoslovak leadership and the Central Committee did not provoke mobilization and attack the enemy tanks, there was no bloodshed. We realized that now was the end. Because we traveled everywhere ... to the west. ”

  • "I was not nominated at that time. My friends, from Prague and Karlovy Vary, were there. At that time, I remembered an invitation from my Yugoslav friends and they invited me to a big international tournament in Belgrade. I remembered the travel clause, it was necessary then. Based on the travel clause, the bank gave you a foreign exchange promise, a dinar promise. I remembered everything. I took my passport, my money, my fencing stuff. I got on the train. I performed in Belgrade for a while and there I met the representatives - my friends, and they almost dropped out. "What are you doing here?" So I said, 'I came to fencing like you! `' Well, here's the representation!` 'I'm a representative, too. Just that the boys in Prague didn't nominate me there.` 'Well, well.` They had nothing to say. I even did very well in that tournament, I got to the finals. I also defeated Jarda Jurka in the final, who was a czechoslovak unit at that time and later was a silver medalist at the World Championships. Just an excellent swordsman. I was proud to represent Czechoslovak fencing and the republic well. When I came back, they called me to Prague and gave me, as a reward for that good performance, a one-year distance. They forbade me all fencing as a punishment that I allowed myself to leave. At my own expense, I paid for everything myself and represented very well. They banned fencing for me for a year. "

  • "I worked on the radio station and then I worked on TV and those years passed very quickly until I ... in 1988, I was approached by an agency that whether or not ... I was also a professional coach. I also devoted myself to professional coaching over the years. I received an offer to travel to Kuwait as a professional coach. An exotic country, until then it never occurred to me that I could work professionally in Kuwait, but I took this opportunity and in the eighty-eighth year I left... to work as a fencing coach. So again, it was such a ... big change. And I'll get to Kuwait right away, it just occurs to me that as part of becoming a coach, they were necessary ... there were already some unions at some universities at that time, or how did the process go? There, basically, in order to be able to work professionally as a coach, it was necessary to have a certain education and I had the opportunity to graduate from the faculty ... Karlova University, the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports in Prague, and there I received the highest coaching education. It was like first class and so I had a license to just coach or coach the national team. Even thanks to the fact that I simply had this license, I owned it, so I met all the prerequisites to be able to travel and train as a foreigner. And did you do that coaching in Czechoslovakia as well? Yes, yes. Clearly. I worked continuously, even though I stopped being active but simply a representative, so I devoted myself fully to training. I trained representatives in modern pentathlon and fencing, but in Bratislava, I am everything, I am all this ... I performed this activity in Bratislava. "

  • "There was a system of clubs and it was based on certain traditions. For example, in Slovakia, fencing, specifically, had a very strong tradition in Bratislava and Košice, and this somehow traditionally meant that the strongest and best occupied clubs were in these two cities, but also in other cities were ... Žilina, Bystrica, Zvolen, they were good swordsmen. And it was also in the Czech Republic. Rather, life within Czechoslovakia was characterized by the fact that there was very great competition between czech clubs and slovak clubs, and between czech and slovak fencers. And that competition was also characterized by the fact that simply that, by the fact that Prague dictated, so we felt a bit of such oppression, I would say. In quotes, well. It may be a strong word, but we just felt that we might have to work harder and get better results to get the same recognition. For example, in fights with the people of Prague ... fencing is quite such a subjective sport and decision-making is also very subjective, so we often felt wrong when deciding where to decide on interventions and deciding who wins the match, so we often felt pressure. This means that we sometimes had to make a much bigger effort to be able to defeat the opponent from those czech clubs. And on the one hand ... It made our lives miserable and it bothered us a lot, but on the other hand, it encouraged us to be more combative and to put in more effort, and maybe even better, more honest training. And were they like some competitions only individually, or was it normally a league, such a regular one? Yes, yes. Regular, regular competitions were Czechoslovak, especially such ladder competitions. Based on those individual competitions, a quality bar was then created, a czechoslovak quality bar, where it was determined which were the best, and a representative team was then created from the best. However, as I have already mentioned, that prague-centrism manifested itself primarily in that ... and not only in our sport, it was in all sports. When you talk to the other people today, whether they are hockey players, football players, tennis players, but also in other sports, basketball players ... then we all felt simply that they were wrong with us. For example, the selection for those national teams was such that the most preferred were athletes from those prague clubs. "

  • "Sure, all the children experienced it, because it was more or less unavoidable ... it was simply a duty to become, to become ... a pioneer. Well, like every child, he automatically became a pioneer at a certain age. And we had pioneer circles, and within those pioneer circles, it was so ... it was done so very sensibly, because more or less most of those teachers and those pioneer leaders were such that I would say that they instilled such a good atmosphere and more or less the one, the one, the one's action, I would say political, was very mild yet. They understood that they could not impose any heavy burdens on those children in this way. But it was so cleverly organized. We went to the building of the current presidential palace, well ... where the pioneer house was. And there we ... once a month they took us to play or showed us a movie, or an exhibition about World War II, or about the heroic deeds of heroic soldiers, and so on. That was so, I would say so sensitively, but presented to those children to elicit certain positive reactions to get for the regime those, those little children, so. Of course, then at a later age, when we were fourteen, fifteen, sixteen years old, of course, everyone began to think according to their own logic and combine facts and arguments, and then built their ideas about it, and accordingly , he acted and followed accordingly, well. So the influence was there, but it wasn't, I wouldn't say so dramatic. And I say ... even those children, when we were in the Lenin Museum eighteen times, we all asked, "We've been here very often," but we have to come here every year, the teacher said. So that was it, that was all we did with it ... maybe we were happy as children to hang out for two hours, I don't know math, and I don't know natural history, and instead we were in that museum. So we're so childish, so positive, well. So like this. We did not feel the political pressure. That political pressure then ... came earlier in college. ”

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Kollár Gabriel

    duration: 01:37:33
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
  • 2

    Bratislava , 02.07.2020

    duration: 44:14
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
  • 3

    Bratislava , 24.07.2020

    duration: 56:57
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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Gabriel received a penalty for good representation in a fencing tournament

Gabriel Kollár was born in 1952 in Bratislava, into a family of hungarian nationality. His father was a sports journalist. In 1969 he founded the Slovak Fencing Association. He was fifteen years old when the Warsaw Pact invasion broke out. In 1971 he became the junior champion of Czechoslovakia. He is still actively involved in fencing. He graduated from the University of Economics in Bratislava. During the military service, he was in Dukla Olomouc, for which he fenced. He did first class coaching at Karlova University. After ten years, he left the Czechoslovak national team and started working as a sports editor at Slovak television. In 1980, he completed postgraduate studies in journalism at Comenius University in Bratislava. A year before the outbreak of the Gentle Revolution, he left for Kuwait. He worked there as a fencing coach. When he was on holiday in Slovakia in 1989, demonstrations began. He filmed them on a private camera. From 1994 to 1996 he was the president of the Slovak Fencing Association. After the revolution, he worked for a German software company. After that, he worked for seven years as a marketing director at “The first building bank”. For a year, he accepted an offer to be a member of the board of directors of the newly formed Allianz Slovakia. In 2000, he joined the First Supplementary Pension Insurance Company. In 2008, he accepted an offer to launch the sports channel of public television STV3. He regularly participates in veteran tournaments abroad. He has been training slovak fencers for more than three decades.