Kateřina Neumannová

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Katerina Neumannova.jpg
Kateřina Neumannová in 2007

Kateřina Neumannová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkatɛr̝ɪna ˈnojmanovaː] ( )) (born 15 February 1973 in Písek, Czechoslovakia) is a retired Czech cross country skier. She was a flatwater canoeist and downhill skier before moving to cross country skiing at sixteen. She is one of five cross country skiers to ever compete at six Olympics.

On July 2, 2003, Neumannová became a mother, giving birth to a girl named Lucie.

On February 17, 2005, she won the 10 km free at the Nordic skiing World Championships. Neumannová defended her 10 km free title at the following championships in Sapporo on February 27, 2007.

On February 24, 2006, in her final Olympic race, Neumannová won her first Winter Olympic gold medal in the 30 km freestyle mass start and became the oldest winner in the event.

On 14 January 2007 Neumannová received the title Czech Sportsperson of the Year 2006, a trophy awarded by journalists in the Czech Republic.

She was also the first Czech woman to appear in both a Summer and Winter Olympics. At the 1996 Summer Olympics, she participated in the mountain biking event.

Neumannová retired after the 2006-07 World Cup season.[1]

Career overview[edit]

Neumannová made her first appearance in the Winter Olympics in 1992 in Albertville. Her goal was only to gain experiences.,[2] However in all races (both individual and relay) she belonged to the best Czechoslovak athletes.[2] Two years later in Lillehammer she was already among the best.[2] She was 8th in 5 km classical and 6th in combination with 10 km free.

Her training during summer involved riding mountain bike and when the sport become popular she decided to race in it. Thanks to her strong muscles she quickly achieved successes. In 1995, she won a bronze medal at the European Championships,[3] and she also qualified for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Although cross-country skiing remained her main sport and her summer training was usually lighter she took preparations for Atlanta seriously. "This time I left out the pleasant period and started abruptly. Thanks to it I achieved results in athletic tests that I last run in junior categories"[4] she said before Olympics. But her preparations were not in the best conditions. She practised in a cold weather in Šumava while great heat was expected for Atlanta race[5] On July 31, 1996 she became the first Czech female athlete to compete on both Winter and Summer Olympics when starting in the mountain bike race at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, USA. But the race itself was a horror for her. She fell of the bike early in the race. "I overrun about 15 racers but then a terrible crisis came upon me. I did not race anymore, I just wanted to finish," she described the race.[6] She mainly complained about the terrible heat and said it was one of her worst experiences.[5]

First major medal[edit]

Neumannová started the 1996/1997 season with a fourth place in the World Cup opener. The race took place in Kiruna and was run on 5 km free. Neumannová was content with the result but complained about soft snow she did not like. "If the track was more firm, I believe I would stand on the platform", she commented.[7][8] At the end of the year she clearly dominated the Czech Championships on 5 km free and 10 km classic. She commented it was mainly training for her as the main goal for the season was World Championships. For it she announced a goal to finish among best six.[9]

Only two weeks later, on January 11 and 12, she achieved two second places in the World Cup. It was again on the 5 km and 10 km distances, but this time it was 5 km classic and 10 km free. The race was run in Hakuba, Japan on the tracks ready for 1998 Winter Olympics[10][11]

Career successes[edit]

FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009[edit]

In late 2006, Neumannová was named an honorary vice president of the organizing committee for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 at Liberec, Czech Republic. On July 25, 2007, she succeeded Roman Kumpost as chair of the organizing committee for the 2009 championships.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FIS Newsflash 122. April 11, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Profile on Czech Olympic Committee's webpage, accessed August 22, 2006
  3. ^ "Neumannová neví, zda bude jezdit", MF Dnes, 1996/04/10 page 23
  4. ^ Original (Czech): "Tentokrát jsem příjemné období vynechala a šla jsem na to rovnou zostra. Díky tomu jsem při atletických testech zaběhla časy, jakých jsem naposledy dosáhla v juniorkách
  5. ^ a b "Neumannová se na vedro málem chystala ve sněhu", MF Dnes, 1996/07/18, page 18, available through [1] (registration required)
  6. ^ Original (Czech): "Dojela jsem asi patnáct závodnic, ale pak na mě padla hrozná krize. Už jsem nezávodila, jen jsem se snažila dojet."
  7. ^ Original (Czech): "Kdyby trať byla tvrdší, věřím, že bych stála na stupni vítězů"
  8. ^ (November 25, 1996). Neumannová doběhla čtvrtá i na měkkém sněhu. MF DNES p. 13
  9. ^ (December 30, 1996). "Neumannová běhala v krutém mrazu suverénně". MFDNES, p. 02
  10. ^ (January 13, 1997). "Neumannová zazářila v Japonsku". MF DNES p. 01
  11. ^ (January 13, 1997). "Neumannová doběhla v Hakubě dvakrát druhá". MF DNES p. 02
  12. ^ "Neumannová ve vedru vzpomínala na mrazy", MF Dnes, 1996/07/31, page 19, available through [2] (registration needed)
  13. ^ FIS NewsFlash 138. August 1, 2007.

External links[edit]