< /p> Presentation of bronze Olympic medals from the 4×6 kilometer relay from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, March 4, 2023 Nové Město na Moravě, Žďársko. Relay members Eva Puskarčíková, Gabriela Soukalová, Jitka Landová and Veronika Vítková.
Nové Město na Moravá (Žďársko) – To the sounds of the Olympic anthem and the standing ovation of the sold-out Vysočina Arena, former biathletes Gabriela Soukalová, Veronika Vítková, Jitka Landová and Eva Puskarčíková received additional bronze medals from the relay from the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014 today in Nové Město na Moravá. they told journalists that the emotions of success cannot be the same after nine years, they were grateful for the organized event and enjoyed it. Members of the then implementation team also received awards at the ceremony.
“I can definitely say that there was at least partial satisfaction. I am very happy that we can receive the medal right here in Nové Město na Moravá. I cannot imagine a better opportunity when we could receive it otherwise. It is for us beautiful. I don't know about girls, but for me it's a top campus and the heart of my entire career,” said Soukalová.
The medals were handed over to the biathletes by the vice-chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee for international relations, Roman Kumpošt, and the president of the Czech Biathlon Union, Jiří Hamza. The chairman of the WWTP, Jiří Kejval, could not participate due to health reasons. Female biathletes gathered together like this for the first time since 2016.
“It's true that I've been so upset and angry for the past few years. You keep thinking what would have happened if and what we've lost. But I'm very happy and I appreciate that the WWTP and the union are doing this for us. There may be our family. After nine years, however, those euphoric states can no longer be imitated,” said Landová.
The Czech women's national team took fourth place in Sochi with Ukraine's victory. Originally the second Russians were later disqualified due to doping. The Norwegians moved to the second position instead of them. “I have to say that I don't remember much of that race anymore. It's just that I was a finisher for the first time, finished fourth and at least waved at the finish line,” said Vítková, who arrived in Nové Město na Morava expecting her second child.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to disqualify the Russians in November 2017 due to the doping of Jana Romanova and Olga Viluchina. They appealed the disqualification and lifetime ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, which ruled in their favor in September 2020. However, another accused member of the relay, Olga Zajcevová, was unsuccessful in her appeal, so the IOC definitively confirmed the change in order last May.
“More than the race in Sochi, I have intense memories of the bronze medal from the World Championships in Anterselva 2020. But I am very happy how everyone fought for it and were able to agree to hand it over to us here with the spectators. We were able to enjoy it together and it was not the dry handover,” said Puskarčíková. “In Sochi, there were some schools that had to go there to cheer. Cold fans who had to cheer for everyone. But here they really cheer for us and here we are at home. Maybe it's even better,” she added.
During the ceremony they were members of the implementation team who contributed to the success in Sochi were also awarded. In addition to Hamza, there were coaches Ondřej Rybář, Jindřich Šikola, Marek Lejsk, Tomáš Holubec, servicemen Daniel Müller, Martin Janousek, Vojtěch Prášil. Physiotherapist Roman Karpíšek, masseuse Irena Česneková, doctor Vladimír Dobeš, Pavel Levora and Jan Matouš also worked in the background. The then president of the Czech Biathlon, Václav Fiřtík, died unexpectedly in March 2014 after a vascular accident.
In addition to the medals, everyone will also receive financial rewards. The WWTP will pay 900,000 crowns to the relay team members and 200,000 crowns to the implementation team.