Emil Zatopek

Born Sep 19, 1922
Nationality Czech Republic Czech Republic
Nickname Bouncing Czech

Emil Zátopek was born on 19th of September 1922, in Kopřivnice, Czechoslovakia; died on 22nd of November 2000. He was commonly known as Emil and was referred to as “The Locomotive” and the “Bouncing Czech”.

Emil Zátopek was a Czech athlete that dominated long distance running from 1948 until 1954. He won 38 consecutive 10,000 meter races, including 11 in 1949 alone. He won four Olympic gold medals and one silver and had set 18 world records over various distances including every record from 5k to 30k. He was the first athlete to break the 29-minute barrier in the 10km run in 1954.

Olympic Games• 1948 London - 10000 meters - Gold• 1952 Helsinki - 5000 meters - Gold • 1952 Helsinki - 10000 meters - Gold • 1952 Helsinki - Marathon - Gold • 1948 London - 5000 meters - Silver

European Championships• 1950 Brussels - 5000 m - Gold • 1950 Brussels - 10000 m - Gold • 1954 Bern - 5000 m - Bronze • 1954 Bern - 10000 m - Gold

At the Helsinki Olympics in the year 1952, Emil was given a doctor’s warning that he should not compete due to a gland infection two months before, he won the 5,000m, the 10,000m and the marathon, all in a span of eight days. He then set a new Olympic record in all three events and had never run a marathon before.

Emil was awarded the Order of the White Lion, a national honor presented to him by Czech President Vaclav Havel in 1998. He had spent time in the hospital due to pneumonia during the last year of his life. At the age of 78, he died after being admitted to Prague’s Military Hospital.

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