Mgr. Katarína Lokšová-Ráczová

* 1950

  • "It was strange, too. Even when we went abroad for races, we had to go to Prague and sign there that we would not meet the ugly westerns. We won't even talk to them, because they will change us for the worse. But one highly respected fencing coach left Prague for Germany. Čivrný. He later wrote a book. He was fine there. As an expert, they respected him there. He wasn't even the youngest when he ran away and suffered a lot there. He missed the company he was used to. So when we met at various tournaments, he joined us. He came to us so much that he helped us, advised us. He advised us against the Germans, he advised us against his own swordsmen. We didn't see the slightest reason not to talk to him. The only one who did not talk to him was the then chairman of the Czechoslovak Fencing Association, who went to school with him. He took it so strictly."

  • "It was also familiar, so friendly. Until September 5... when the Olympic Village was attacked by the terrorist group, Black September. They murdered israeli athletes. Some in the village where the Israeli delegation lived and the others at the airport because a german security group failed. It's hard to say today, how it was. By today's brain power... no one at that time dreamed that the Olympic Games could be misused for such terrorist and political purposes. In addition, I read a lot about it. There were such indications, and the Israeli government also warned the Germans that something was going on. They wanted to send their people there, their security analysts and people to protect israeli athletes, but the Germans claimed to have everything under control. A few years ago, I was at a Haifa conference in Israel and had the honor of meeting the wife of a murdered Israeli athlete. It was, I don't know if that's the right expression - a beautiful experience, as she saw, how she survived the whole period. And until the last moment, she had information that the Germans had saved all the athletes and everything was fine. It was much later that she learned that her husband had been murdered and that they had tortured him before... it was not enough to kill them. "

  • "Five girls from Prague plus Ráczová. Ráczová caught a loss and now the coaches have started counting. You let go of this, you let go of this and you let go of this ... Let's try that one loss can mean that Ráczová will not win the tournament. It was about the soul. It was completely normal. For ninety-nine percent, the judge was from Prague. Sure, we already had a signaling device at that time, but the referee is the master. In fencing, you cannot measure results in centimeters or seconds. The lamp is turning on. Now two lamps are on. Now the referee will say something there. Maybe he was dreaming something. Maybe he was really wrong. Maybe he was wrong. But it was not easy. And it also happened abroad. Neither Czechoslovakia nor Slovakia was a fencing state or a great power. And now you're going to the World Cup. You go there alone with your coach and the French delegation comes - ten girls, twenty coaches, thirty referees. And we knew exactly, there is France in the group and the Italian will decide. In the second group will be a Soviet fencer and the German will decide. And then it will be the other way around. ”

  • "I had before me one very bad example from Košice. One very clever fencer from Košice set out on this journey. She went to study in Prague. In a short time, her prague rivals literally destroyed it. It's hard when you live there alone. They asked her. So I thought, this is not going to be good. I stay in Slovakia in Bratislava. I went away with a heavy heart, because the team in Košice was amazing. I was still in Košice when I was nominated for the Junior World Championships. Until then, we trained two or three times a week at the amateur level. When I received an invitation to the national team, Professor Pačenovský called us and said: "Katka is in the national team and she is going to the championships, we have to help her to prepare!" outside the training period. And with pleasure. To this day, I am grateful to them for that. If the support weren't at that time, I don't know what would be. "

  • "We were taken by bus for training. We got on the bus. The soldier gave the message: Ráczová, Czechoslovakia, will get on the bus, fencing. She gets out there, at this entrance she will enter the hall. I once had the honor of an Israeli swordswoman traveling with me. So they almost disassembled the bus into small pieces. We arrived at the hall, report, another soldier, another check. Only through that entrance could we enter where we came out. Thanks to the fact that my coach, as a tourist, went through a completely different entrance. We searched for half an hour until we even found each other and we could start training. Every step, they followed us everywhere. I'm saying some jerk grabs a rock and hits a soldier standing there, he starts shooting and doesn't know why. "

  • "I remember, we were at the World Cup in Comme, Italy. I won there. I know my rival Cornelius Hanei from Germany. We had a match against each other, she came on and there were tears in her eyes. And I asked, “What's going on? Because apart from being rivals, we were pretty good friends. We went to the dinner together… for dinner. So I knew a lot about her from my private life. I say: What happened. After the match, she said that she had just received information that they were not going to the Olympic Games. So they found out right there in the tournament. It was a shock to everyone, even to us. Sure, we were rivals with fencers from other countries ... but we all realized that now it's not that I have one opponent less, I have ten opponents less… .but the feeling was important. And I had no idea at that time that I would experience a similar feeling, four years later. "

  • "We were preparing for the Junior World Championships, which were the end, the end of August, the beginning of September, it was still possible to travel. And those championships were in Italy and also the opening ceremony. Now our... our delegation, the flag, the table of Czechoslovakia and the audience have appeared… in Italy, fencing is an extremely popular sport, so the point of view is full. And as we appeared then the audience, people stood up and started yelling at us and celebrating us, and applauding, and they were excited to be there at all. As the last delegation appeared, a Soviet delegation such as the UDSSR appeared and the Italians also celebrated them because Soviet fencers were the best fencers at that time, so… We thought that only we would get such support, but not Soviet, Soviet fencers received such support. And then in this tournament, it so happened that as we were warming up there, a Soviet fencer came to see me, she had some colla. She came to me and gave me the badge and apologized to me. I say, you probably can't make the political decisions - we were eighteen years old. I'm saying, I assume you're not a politician. So we hugged and cried there. And at the same World Championships, there was another nice story. One prague fencer had a match with another soviet fencer. I will try to describe it, we are fencing on an electrical signaling device, so there are such two lamps, red green, depending on which side hits, according to which the lamps are lit. And there was an action, both fencers thought they had hit, but the signaling device showed nothing, so there was no hit. They stared at the lamp for a moment, then realized that nothing was happening. To that... our swordswoman Tamara turned and ran down from the board, and the soviet raised hand ran after her, because she wanted to hit her, which was her right. Of course, there were photographers who captured this scene of a Czechoslovak sportswoman running away and a Soviet sportswoman running after her and hitting her, hitting her in the back. The next day every...The next day, both political, explicitly political newspapers on the front page published this photo, with an inscription in both politics and sports."

  • "My parents led us to play sports. So we had a relatively healthy lifestyle at that time. I tried different sports, I started with gymnastics, figure skating, swimming and an older brother, he started fencing. And I suppose it was easier for my parents when I went to fencing too. We didn't have a car, so it was a slightly different life that it was easier for them when we went together, together for fencing. The beginnings were cruel because I didn't like it. I didn't know what it was and I had nothing to do with it. It is said that fencing also requires certain intellectual abilities, so my brother has a sense of distribution, and I kept saying that I was left with nothing because he inherited everything. And so I wasn't thrilled and I cried that I didn't want to go there until my first coach, professor Samo Pačenovský, did such a celebration at the end of the year for, for the swordswomen, for those who went to the races and won. The Košice section was also extremely successful within Czechoslovakia, so we had enough of those successful fencers in the section, and then these, these winners of all-Czechoslovak tournaments, were considered real fencers, like knights. And the celebration looked like professor Pačenovský was a slender, tall man, white hair, white beard, white chin, and now fencing clothes all in white. He was wearing such a red ribbon and brought a sword on a red pillow. The swordswomen knelt in front of him, and he patted them on the shoulder with the weapon, like now you were a real swordswoman. And I'm quite a romantic soul, I saw this ceremony and I say, oh I would also like to experience it, so that professor Pačenovský would fit me like a successful swordsman, and that was the moment when I started training and, for the soul. And after two years of training, we went to the first national races, and those races for x years had already been won by Košice fencers, but ours, our two strongest, one was injured and the other was... she was sick. So after two years of training, I was supposed to represent them and my friend Marika had to help me. And the day before we traveled to Brno for the tournament, professor Pačenovský called us and said, and now I will tell you what to do there in Brno at the tournament. And now we have open eyes, mouths, ears, now we will learn the big secret of why Košice fencers are so successful. And professor Pačenovský told us, but you have to have four hits before you get it from your opponent. At that time it was fencing for four hits, now it is fencing for five. So it was a big wonder that we had to show our opponents in Brno, but in the end it came to his words because, because I won the tournament and Marika really helped me with it, encouraged me, gave me good advice in life and it was my first, first tournament, winning."

  • “A few years after the end of the war, there are also nice stories, painful but nice stories. A few months, years after the end of the war, my mother then received a telegram, and from that telegram she learned that her older sister had survived a concentration camp and was alive, married, and had a family. And where did her older sister live? After the liberation of the concentration camps, she met a soldier and ended up later in New York. And I had the honor or joy that a few years later, I was about twenty years old, as a sports-woman I got to New York as well, I also met my mother's sister and her family. So I was the only one who met her after the war, after the war, and it was a very interesting and nice meeting, because there was a big fencing tournament in New York, an invitation. The organizers were invited from Europe, from America, from different countries and I actually represented Europe there. The gym was full, I don't know how many people were there, but full. I didn't even have a jersey or uniform that represented Czechoslovakia, because I was basically representing Europe, and suddenly a couple appeared in that huge full gym. A young boy tall, slender with an elderly lady. She was lower, a little so chubby, so, interestingly dressed for my taste, just not for what I was used to, used to coming out of the house and walking around the gym and following me. And because they looked so different from what I was used to from a socialist country, for a moment I began to get scared because they were explicitly persecuting me. And as I went from corner to corner in the gym, they followed me. A few meters, but persevered behind me. So it was already really unpleasant for me, so I braked at one group of those swordswomen and I say. Oh my God, I'm scared, I don't know what these two want from me, but I don't know they have been circling me for ten minutes and I'm scared. I will remain in this state. As soon as I took root there and stood there, they overtook me. The lady approached me and told me. And you are Katarína Ráczová? And I say yes. So it was my mother's sister who had never seen me in her life. She didn't see my mother for many years before that, my father too, because I could have been twenty at that time, so the war and this, this incident, for a good few years. And yet, in that full gym, where she didn't know anyone, she picked me up and decided that I was the one. What was your aunt's name? Marta.”

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The Olympic games in Munich from 1972, changed the world

Katarína as a high school student.
Katarína as a high school student.
photo: archív pamätníčky

Katarína Ráczová Lokšová was born in 1950, in Košice. Her father was the principal of a hungarian school. During II. World War, falsified documents and helped his future wife to survive. He was awarded the title of Fair among Nations in 2020. Katarína graduated from a grammar school in Košice and the Faculty of Pharmacy in Bratislava. She has competed in fencing since childhood. The culmination of her career was winning a silver medal in fleuret at the 1978 World Championships in Hamburg. She won a gold medal at the 1977 World Universiade. She participated in three Olympic Games. In Moscow, where she won seventh place (1980). She finished eleventh in Munich (1972), where Israeli athletes were murdered. She advanced to the semifinals in Montreal (1976). She devoted fifteen years to top sports. During her long career, she became the champion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic thirteen times. After the end of her sports career, she started training children in Bratislava. She founded the Slovak Fair Play Club and became the national ambassador for sport, tolerance and fair play of the Council of Europe.