Jan Nagy

* 1945  

  • “No professional sport was being done at that time, although obviously there was the national team (and its members were already receiving financial rewards). But for me, it would be a professional sport only if I had any profit from it. But I have never gotten anything from it in my entire life. Once I succeeded in setting a series of records. It was in Teplice: 240 kg and it was the second or third best achievement of all times. there was this Alexejev, for instance, but one could not really compete with him. Firstly, he weighted thirty kilograms more than me, and secondly, they were able to get hold of nierabolchik in their pharmacies there. Nierabol was an anabolic and people who did some heavy work were normally able to purchase it there. And it was obvious. I can also say that although Alexejev was two years older than me, he already died two years ago.”

  • “It was the end of the year and there was to be some competition, a championship. Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship Cup in Bohumín. I had influenza at that time. And during the meeting of the chairman of our sports club, who was the director of OPBH… this man, whom I would characterize in one sentence as a person who was not even able to do a forward roll, let alone a backward one, he was an antithesis to a sports talent. And this guy told me that if I did not participate in that competition, I could forget about Moscow (the Olympic Games in Moscow). The Olympics were to be held half a year later. And I would have certainly qualified for the Olympics, do you understand? Well, I have to admit that I always say what I think. I told him that he was simply the last person who should be giving me orders, and that he could stick all these Olympics up his arse. I went home, I sat at my desk and I wrote to Prague as a member of the national team that I was quitting. I wrote to the sports club that I was quitting for health reasons, and weightlifting was definitely over for me. (And was it really such a big problem? You had to take part in many other competitions like that, hadn’t you? Or what bothered you about it so much? What was the reason for not going to the Olympics?) The reason was that I was really recovering after the illness and I needed to get fit again and I did not consider it necessary to participate in that competition. And most of all, I got mad at the manner of acting of this nobody, who dared to say something like that – and to talk to me as if he was giving me orders. No way… I immediately showed him my claws!”

  • “This is what I liked: after I had written that letter to the headquarters and to Sokolov that I was quitting (that was at the end of the year – in November), then on 7th January I received an invitation to Prague from Dušek. He was a vice-chairman or something like that, a bighead in the Party’s hierarchy to put it simply. Apart from me, there were Šuranová, Moravec (cyclist), and about seven other people. They prepared lunch for us and they gave us a reward. It was the first and last time when I received some financial reward: seven thousand crowns. It did come handy for me... And they thanked us! And then, after I had left (emigrated to Germany), there was certain Václav Kaněra in the Sokolov region who signed this document… He was a melancholic old geezer, he has obviously already died many years ago. He signed that letter and he was absolutely only a small pawn, a director of the cultural centre in Sokolv. The documents stated in both Czech and German, so that I would be able to read it, that they were informing the (then German) sports club that they were interrupting all relations and contacts with them, because they (the German club) had provided a – they did not write an asylum, but they wrote that they extended a helping hand to this villain. They warned them that I was a person who had been withdrawn from the national team for disciplinary reasons. Literally it said that I had been withdrawn from the national team. Well, dammit, I had the letters which said that they had thanked me for representing our country, you know? Even now, I still hold some record, actually, and in spite of that they wrote this bullshit about me… They (the Germans) thus only laughed about it and they threw the document to the rubbish bin – it did not matter to them. It only showed what kind of people lived in our country.”

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    Karlovy Vary, 22.05.2014

    (audio)
    duration: 01:48:10
    media recorded in project Memory of Nations on the road
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I am amazed that I am still alive

Portrait photo as a young man
Portrait photo as a young man
photo: archiv Jan Nagy

Jan Nagy was born on April 12, 1945 in Sereď (Trnava district) in Slovakia. His ancestors included Hungarians, Slovaks, Germans and Czechs. He spent his childhood in Ostrov nad Ohří. He enjoyed sports, especially running, already as a young boy. When Jan was eleven years old, he contracted rheumatic fever and he spent a year in hospital undergoing treatment. After elementary school he attempted to take entrance examination for a military school as a pilot, but he did not pass the tests due to his past illness. Although he had been forbidden to engage in sports and physical activity, Jan started weightlifting together with his friends. Before starting the basic military service in Týniště nad Orlicí in 1964 he was already able to lift 120 kilograms in clean and jerk technique. Since 1969 he was actively involved in sports while working a full time job at the same time. Jan trained in the Baník sports club in Sokolov under the guidance of coach František Škarda. His achievements include bronze medal from the championship of super heavy weights in 1975 in London, or the third place from the World Championship in Montreal (1976). At the end of 1979 he decided to end his career. The following summer he emigrated with his family via Yugoslavia to Germany where he then lived until 2000. After 2000 he returned to the Czech Republic. Jan Nagy devotes his time to painting, he lives in Karlovy Vary and he has two sons and a daughter.