“Through sports, I collected the debt the communist regime owed me.”
Vladek Lacina was born on the 25th of June 1949 in Prague into a family with strong rowing tradition. Both his mother, a Ravensbrück concentration camp survivor, and his father, a political prisoner (mukl) were forced to work at the Jáchymov uranium mines for ten years. His parents always served as Vladek’s moral idols. It was them who motivated him to do sports and eventually introduced him to rowing. He started to train in the Prague rowing club VK Blesk, later transferring to the Army club of Dukla Praha. He represented Czechoslovakia at several World Rowing Championships and three Summer Olympics while switching constantly between the disciplines: double, quadruple, and single scull. He brought home a bronze medal from the Summer Olympics of 1976, in 1972 in Munich he ended up sixth and in 1980 in Moscow he ranked fourth. Together with Josef Straka, he won numerous medals in double scull at World Rowing Championships throughout the 1970’s. He consistently refused to take anabolics and had regularly his blood voluntarily tested to avoid their unconscious consumption. He opposed the Eastern Bloc boycott of the Olympic Games of 1984 which were taking place in Los Angeles. After that, he gradually concluded his professional career.