Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Hana Říčná

Hana Říčná was an artistic gymnast who represented Czechoslovakia during the 1980s.  She's the most successful Czech gymnast after Věra Čáslavská.

At the 1983 World Championships she won a silver medal on the balance beam.  Due to the Soviet-led boycott of the 1984 Olympics she missed her shot at an Olympic medal.  Instead she competed at the 1984 Friendship Games, held in Olomouc, which were the Eastern Bloc's alternative to the Olympics.  There she won silver medals in the all-around and balance team and a team bronze.  She would have been a contender for a medal in LA.

At the Wold Championships in 1985 she won a bronze medal on the uneven bars.  She probably would have retired after the '84 Olympics but she hung around so that she could compete in the 1988 Olympics even though she was no longer in her prime.  At the '88 games she placed seventh with the team and 29th in the all-around.

In 1983 she invented a move on the bars that is named after her.  It is a Stalder to counter reversed straddled Hecht over the high bar.  Here's a video I found out on YouTube of her bronze medal performance at the '85 World Championships.  The first trick that she does on the high bar is the move that's named after her.

She was a local Brno girl.  She was born and also trained here.

In 1994 she moved to the USA and is now a coach in Rhode Island.  Her son, David Jessen, is an elite gymnast who represents Czech Republic internationally, most recently at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Here's a video of him competing at the 2019 World Championships.  The third release and catch move in his routine is the move that his mom invented.

©FIG Channel

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