The Spartakiads or Spartakiades in Czechoslovakia (Czech: Spartakiáda, Slovak: Spartakiáda) were mass gymnastics events, designed to celebrate the Red Army's liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945. They were organised by the Communist government as a replacement of the similar Sokol gatherings, which were disapproved by the regime and discontinued after World War II. The Spartakiads took place at the Strahov Stadium, the largest stadium ever built and the venue of the last pre-war Sokol gathering.
The first Spartakiad took place in 1955, and was subsequently held every five years. The Spartakiad scheduled for 1970 was canceled in the wake of the Prague Spring and the beginning of normalization. Preparations for the Spartakiad scheduled for 1990 were interrupted by the Velvet Revolution, but the event still took place, although on a much smaller scale than the previous ones.
The Spartakiads were attended by large numbers of people; for example, at the 1960 Spartakiad about 750,000 gymnasts from the whole country took part and over 2,000,000 spectators witnessed the event.
Men and women of all ages practiced their exercising routines for the event. Appearance was mandatory for soldiers and students.
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