Friday, June 28, 2013

2013 Golden Spike

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 Zlatá tretra (Golden Spike).  This is an annual track and field event held in Ostrava since 1961.  The meets were interrupted in 1999 when it was canceled due to a lack of sponsors.

Fortunately, it was so successful in 2002 that in 2003 the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) included it as part of the IAAF World Challenge Meet.  This Super Grand Prix event did not disappoint.

One of the chaps at work volunteers every year and he scored a couple of us some VIP passes.  There were more World and Olympic athletes than you could shake a stick at.  The competition was tough as many athletes used this as a warm up event to the upcoming World Championships in Moscow.

Some of the more notable Czech stars included javelin thrower Vitezslav Veselý, pole vaulter Jan Kudlička and hurdler Zuzana Hejnová.

To support our local Kiwi, we made sure to cheer for Valerie Adams from New Zealand who dominated the women's shot put event.  Not a big surprise considering she is a three time world champion and won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing and London.

Going after the chocolate spike
In order to support local kids, throughout the event there are kids races where all age groups get to run for the Chocolate Spike.   

Věra Čáslavská and Bob Beamon
This was the 52nd Golden Spike.  Among the celebrities was American Bob Beamon who won the gold medal in the long jump at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.  He was joined by fellow 1968 Olympian, Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská. Later on I was surprised with an official program autographed by Bob Beamon.

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