Czech wrestler Vítězslav Mácha
Prague – Vítězslav Mácha, Olympic champion from Munich in 1972 and two-time world wrestling champion, who celebrated his 75th birthday in April, has died. The Czech Olympic Committee announced today's death of the two-time best Czechoslovak athlete of the year and a member of the World Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In addition to the triumph in Munich, Mácha also won silver in the Greco-Roman style in the category up to 74 kg at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where he started under five rings a total of four times. In 1974 in Katowice, he rejoiced at the title of world champion and won the gold three years later in Gothenburg. In the same year, he also won the continental championship, he finished second twice and third twice at the EC.
A native of Krmelín in Frýdecko-Místek, he started playing competitively at the age of fourteen in Vítkovice and made his debut on the international stage at the European Championship 1967 in Minsk. Macha's promising career was hampered by various injuries. He was weakened by an infection at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, he broke a rib before the 1971 World Championships, and the same thing happened to him at the 1972 European Championships, where he won his first major medal thanks to third place, but had to give up the fight for the final.
Health problems they also haunted him before the Olympics in Munich, which he entered with a defeat from the Bulgarian Ivan Kolev. But he won the next four duels, despite injuring his shoulder in a duel with the Frenchman Daniel Robin. Mácha considered not going to the finals, but in the end he defeated the favored Greek Petros Galaktopoulos and won the first and so far only Czech wrestling gold at the Olympic Games.
Mácha said goodbye to the mat with sixth place at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. but he remained, first as a coach, later in 1993-1996 as president of the home association. He was inducted into the World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2019.