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Prime minister, president thank Rio medalists

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Prague, Sept 13 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and President Milos Zeman thanked the medalists from the Rio de Janeiro at separate meetings yesterday, both congratulating them and praising the Czech team’s success at the Olympics.
With ten medals, the Czech Republic finished 43rd in the Olympic ranking.
Sobotka said he considers the games successful from the Czech viewpoint.
The reception of the athletes, coaches and representatives of sports associations in the Kramarova villa, the prime minister’s residence, was also attended by the chairmen of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, Milan Stech and Jan Hamacek, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky and Education, Youth and Sports Minister Katerina Valachova.
“The summer games are always a tremendous event. I am glad that we were successful,” Sobotka said, adding that the medalists were a model for the young generation.
“I believe that our government, too, is creating the conditions for your successors,” Sobotka said.
“I could see the atmosphere in Rio with my own eyes, you were a perfect team,” Stech said.
Later yesterday, Zeman received not only the medalists but also other members of the Czech Olympic team at Prague Castle. Before, the athletes were received by Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova.
Zeman said all participants in the Olympics are winners.
“It can happen to anyone that they stumble and fail to achieve their goal,” Zeman said, explaining why he invited all members of the Olympic team.
He congratulated them on their success, presented them with gold commemorative medals and spoke about his personal experience as the team’s fan in Rio.
He greeted Martina Sablikova, the renowned Czech speed skater who unsuccessfully sought participation in the women’s road cycling event in Rio. Once again he criticised the Czech Cycling Federation’s procedural failure to ensure Sablikova’s participation in the Rio contest.
Judoka Lukas Krpalek was the winner of the only Czech golden medal in Rio. Silver medals were won by canoeist Josef Dostal and biker Jaroslav Kulhavy.
Bronze medals were gained by whitewater racer Jiri Prskavec, single scull rower Ondrej Synek, tennis player Petra Kvitova, tennis pairs Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova and Lucie Hradecka with Radek Stepanek, javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova and the K-4 kayakers Daniel Havel, Lukas Trefil, Dostal and Jan Sterba.

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