Jágr was the fifth overall selection in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. He won consecutive Stanley Cups in the 1991 and 1992 seasons with the Penguins. He has won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL Scoring Champion five times (four times in a row), received the Lester B. Pearson Award for the NHL's outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players' Association three times, and won a Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most valuable player, and was a finalist four times. Jágr and teammate Martin Brodeur are the last two players drafted in 1990 who are still active players in the NHL.
In 2006 he was nominated for the Hart Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award, winning the latter. During the award speech for the Lester B. Pearson Award Jagr said: "With this award, you get voted on by players you play against every night and I think they understand the game better than the media". He has been named to seven NHL First All-Star Teams. Jágr is currently the NHL's eighth leading point-scorer (as of the end of the 2011–12 NHL season), and is the all-time leader among European trained players in goals, assists and points, as well as the leading point scorer among active NHL players. Jágr was the Czech Republic's flag bearer for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
The birthplace of Comenius is not known. There are three possible locations: Komňa, Nivnice, or Uherský Brod in Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic). His parents had fled from Hungary during the 16th Century and his original family name was Szeges according to his will found in 1968 by Milada Blekastad monographer of Comenius.
Čech holds a number of goalkeeping records, including the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets, having done so in 180 league appearances. He also holds a Czech professional league record of not conceding a goal in 903 competitive minutes. In addition, he has a club record at his former club Sparta Prague, having gone 928 minutes unbeaten in all competitions in 2001–02, when his unbeaten run in Czech league competition was combined with his performances in the UEFA Champions League. During the 2004–05 season, Čech went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal – a Premier League record, until it was surpassed by Edwin van der Sar of Manchester United on 27 January 2009. Čech also won the Golden Glove in both the 2004–05 and 2009–10 seasons.
Hašek was one of the league's most successful goaltenders of the 1990s and early 2000s. From 1993 to 2001, he won six Vezina Trophies. In 1998 he won his second consecutive Hart Memorial Trophy, becoming the first goaltender to win the award multiple times. During the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, he led the Czech national ice hockey team to its first and only Olympic gold medal. The feat made him a popular figure in his home country and prompted hockey legend Wayne Gretzky to call him "the best player in the game". While with the Red Wings in 2002, Hašek became the first European starting goaltender to win the Stanley Cup. In the process, he set a record for shutouts in a postseason year.
Hašek is considered an unorthodox goaltender, with a distinct style that has labeled him a "flopper". He is best known for his concentration, foot speed, flexibility, and unconventional saves, such as covering the puck with his blocker rather than his trapper. Hašek holds the highest career save percentage of all time (0.9223) and is seventh in goals against average (first in the modern era) (2.202), and the third-highest single-season save percentage (0.9366 in 1998–99). The record was broken by Tim Thomas in the 2010-11 season and again by Brian Elliot in the 2011-12 season who now holds the record at .940. Hašek is the only goalie to face the most shots per 60 minutes and have the highest save percentage in one season. He did it twice, while with the Buffalo Sabres (1996 and 1998).
Hašek is regarded as a future Hall of Famer by those in the hockey world. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest active goalie in the NHL at 43, and the second-oldest active player in the league after Red Wings teammate Chris Chelios, who was 46. Hašek announced his retirement on June 9, 2008, but on April 21, 2009, he announced a comeback to professional hockey and signed a contract with HC Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga. On June 7, 2010, he signed with Spartak Moscow of the KHL and played the last season of his career with this team. Hašek announced his retirement on October 9, 2012.
Pavel Nedvěd is a retired Czechfootballer, who played as a midfielder. He is one of the most successful Czech players to emerge from the newly formed Czech Republic, winning numerous accolades with Lazio and Juventus, including the last ever Cup Winners' Cup. Nedvěd was a key member of the Czech Republic team which reached the final of UEFA Euro 1996, during which he garnered much international attention. He was later given the international captaincy. Well known for his energy and tireless runs, refined dribbling, as well as his powerful shooting and goal scoring abilities, Nedvěd was nicknamed Furia Ceca by Italian fans and The Czech cannon in English-speaking media.
Winning the Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 2003, Nedvěd became only the second Czech player to receive this honour, and the first since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. He was also the recipient of the second Golden Foot award in 2004. Throughout his career, Nedvěd won numerous awards, including being named Czech Footballer of the Year four times and receiving the Golden Ball (Czech Republic) six times. Nedvěd retired after the 2008–09 season after 19 years as a professional. He played 501 league matches at club level, scoring 110 goals, and was capped 91 times for the Czech Republic, scoring 18 times.
Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style which became closely identified with his country's aspirations to independent statehood. Internationally he is known for his opera The Bartered Bride, and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast ("My Fatherland") which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native land. A gifted pianist, Smetana studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. In 1866 his first two operas, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, were premiered at Prague's Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. Factions within the city's musical establishment interfered with his creative work, and may have hastened his health breakdown. By 1874, Smetana had become completely deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition. His contributions to Czech music were increasingly recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum, and his subsequent death. Smetana's reputation as the father of Czech music has endured in his homeland, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors.
Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, and is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. His works, such as "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle), are filled with themes and archetypes of alienation, brutality, parent–child conflict, and mystical transformations. Kafka was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He trained as a lawyer and worked for an insurance company, writing in his spare time – he complained all his life about his lack of time to write. Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close female friends, including his fiancée Felice Bauer. Only a few of Kafka's stories appeared during his lifetime in story collections and literary magazines. His novels and other unfinished works were published posthumously, mostly by his friend Max Brod, who ignored his wish to have the manuscripts destroyed. Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre are among the writers influenced by Kafka's work; the term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe surreal situations like those in his writing.