Eva Bosáková - What Does She Do Today?

By Frantisek Valach

Czechoslovak Life, 9/81   Eva did not have to look far to see good sportsmanship.  Her father was an extremely talented gymnast.  He frequently represented Czechoslovakia as a member of the national team and in 1936 fought for the Czechoslovak colors at the Olympics in Berlin.

As is often the case, parents want to see someone follow in their footsteps.  So Eva accompanied her father to the gymnasium when she was small, before she started school.  They "played" at gymnastics at this stage.

Eva liked it very much and went with her father nearly every day to practice.  She joined the national team when she was 17.  She set herself an ambitious task -- to represent her country as her father had done, to get to the Olympics.  She managed to pull it off in 1952.  She only succeeded in reaching 14th place but the experts singled her out as a promising and outstanding talent.  All the great hopes people held out for her were realized.  Two years later at the world championships she carried off three silver medals.  She introduced a new style, explosive, vital, the public adored her.

This recognition only encouraged Eva to work even harder.  Thousands of hours of exhausting training, sweat and blistered hands, frequent injuries, bruises and swollen joints -- but from all this determined slavery came 35 titles.  Czechoslovak champion, triumphs at the Olympics and the greatest honor of all -- three times World Champion.  Eva endured the tough life of a star gymnast for 15 years.

Then an unusual offer came Eva's way, her career in sport was channeled in a rather different direction.  The Czechoslovak Song and Dance Ensemble -- touring the world with a program of national songs and dances -- asked Eva to join the group.  The three-times champion of the world with her appearance in the folk program was going to add a special attraction to the repertoire.  This was a real recognition of her talents and she accepted.

Her performance always drew enormous applause and was rewarding for Eva herself in many ways.  But touring the countries of the world was a time-consuming and exhausting business.

She began to long for home.  It meant that she would have to give up this attractive job.  It was not easy and it took Eva some time to make up her mind.  Eva says:  "Life abroad can be splendid, but the longing for the home gets stronger and stronger.  Nothing can take the place of the charms and beauties of Czechoslovakia.  I was really happy to return home.  Then, of course, I had to decide my future.  And it was the children and youngsters who won.  I had always liked children, so I became a coach at one of Prague's gymnastic centers.  Although I did get some interesting and good offers from elsewhere, I decided to take up the work which would satisfy me the most and where I would be able to do something really useful.  Useful -- it is a word I have chosen deliberately, because training promising youngsters to be good gymnasts and at the same time helping them to become good citizens is certainly useful work.  Today, I am sure that my choice was the right one.  My work with young people gives me something worthwhile to tackle and a great deal of happiness.  One last word, doing gymnastics with young people keeps me feeling young, too."

Eva Bosáková, whose name ranks alongside those of other world gymnasts, is still achieving fine results today.  She is much more than a tip-top coach, getting excellent results, her young talented gymnasts feel she is a mum, too.  She looks after them at weekends, not only during training sessions.  And of course she goes with them to any town in the republic for competitions.  It might appear to be very tiring, but Eva's opinion is otherwise.  "If you love your work and if the work brings results, no effort is too much.  It depends on every individual what kind of attitude he or she develops in connection with work."

Eva chose a group of 45 gymnasts for special training.  The present results are more than satisfactory.  But Eva never feels that everything is perfect, she continues to think out better methods, new choreography, better equipment for the gymnasiums and so on.

The standards of Soviet gymnastic training and performance are known and recognized the world over.  It is sufficient to follow their international successes.  Eva Bosáková was the first person in Czechoslovakia to decide to join forces and share ideas with an outstanding Soviet coach -- Boris Ivanovich Biryuchkov.  He now works permanently as a coach for talented gymnasts in Czechoslovakia at Eva Bosáková's center.  In a few years time we shall be able to see the results, the products of two fine gymnasts, two excellent methodologists -- one Czech and one Soviet.

Eva Bosáková is now enjoying a busy, useful and interesting life.  She can hand down some of her enormous experience, after years of great triumphs.  Hard years of strain and work, modesty and discipline, staying power and loyalty to her homeland.

This page was created on April 25, 2002.
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