Otto Jelinek

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The Honourable
Otto Jelinek
Otto Jelinek 2014.jpg
Jelinek in 2014
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Oakville—Milton
In office
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Bonnie Brown
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Halton
In office
Preceded by Frank Philbrook
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for High Park—Humber Valley
In office
Preceded by New riding
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Personal details
Born Otakar Jelínek
(1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 76)
Prague, Bohemia
Political party Progressive Conservative
Otto Jelinek
Personal information
Full name Otto John Jelinek
Country represented  Canada
Born (1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 76)
Prague, Bohemia
Former partner Maria Jelinek
Skating club Oakville Skating Club
Retired 1962
Jelinek at the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership convention[1]

Otto John Jelinek, PC (Czech: Otakar Jelínek;[2] born May 20, 1940) is a businessman, former figure skater, and Canadian politician. Jelinek's family fled to Switzerland, then to Canada from Czechoslovakia in 1948, following the Communist coup d'état when communists nationalized his father's cork and alluminum caps factory. Jelinek was appointed as ambassador of Canada to the Czech Republic in August 2013.[3]

Figure skating career[edit]

Jelinek competed as a pair skater with his sister, Maria. They are the 1962 World Champions, the 1961 North American national champions, and 1961-1962 Canadian national champions. They represented Canada at the 1960 Winter Olympics, where they placed 4th.

After they won the World Championships in 1962, the Jelineks retired from competition, and toured professionally with Ice Capades.[4] In late 1963, Jelinek became engaged to Darlene Streich, an American ice dancer who went on to win the U.S. Championships in that discipline in 1964.[5]

The Jelineks were inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1962 and into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame in 1994.

Political career[edit]

After retiring from professional skating, Jelinek started a business, Canadian Skate Industries, to manufacture figure and hockey skates for the mass market. He also had considerable investments in real estate.[6]

After a time in business, Otto Jelinek entered politics and was elected in the 1972 election to the House of Commons as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for High Park-Humber Valley in Metropolitan Toronto. He was re-elected in 1974. In 1979, he switched to the riding of Halton, where he ran and won in the 1979 federal election.

When the Tories formed government after the 1984 election, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney appointed Jelinek to Cabinet as Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport, and the Minister responsible for Multiculturalism.

In 1988, he was named Minister of Supply and Services, and later, Minister of National Revenue. Jelinek was returned to Parliament in the 1988 federal election in Oakville—Milton left politics after Mulroney retired and did not run in the 1993 election. In 2013, he was appointed as ambassador of Canada to the Czech Republic.[3]

Business career[edit]

In 1994, he moved to the Czech Republic, and became chairman of the Board of Directors of Deloitte & Touche Central Europe, and chairman and managing partner of the firm in the Czech Republic, a position he held until 2006. In 2007, Jelinek assumed the role of chairman of Colliers International, CEE Region. Jelinek was also a chairman of the society Olympiad for Czech Republic, which lead the activities of Prague to become the host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

In 2011, Jelinek became a Managing Partner with Passport Energy, a Canadian oil and gas company, with responsibility for corporate and financial affairs in Europe.[7]


with Maria Jelinek

Event 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962
Winter Olympic Games 4th
World Championships 3rd 3rd 4th 2nd 1st
North American Championships 2nd 1st
Canadian Championships 1st J. 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 1st
  • J = Junior level


  1. ^ Alisdair Roberts (1983), Otto Jelinek 
  2. ^ Otakar Jelínek 20.05.1940, Trade Register of the Czech Republic
  3. ^ a b The Canadian Press: Otto Jelinek named Canada’s next ambassador to Czech Republic
  4. ^ "People", Skating magazine, November 1962
  5. ^ "News About Skaters", Skating magazine, Dec 1963
  6. ^ "Evolution... From Skater to Businessman", Skating magazine, Jun 1971
  7. ^ "Honourable Otto Jelinek joins Passport Energy as Managing Partner" (PDF). January 11, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]