Students from the Jedlickuv Ustav school were escorted to their seats in the Czech House by players from the Czech National team. “I just got here, and I am already amazed! It’s incredible to meet with our National Team players,” a student raved.
Students from the Jedlickuv Ustav school were personally escorted to their seats in the Czech House by players from the Czech National team. Softball players gave the kids on wheelchairs signed balls and received a supportive painted banner in exchange. It was a special tie for both players, and the handicapped children.
“The school came to the event on the invitation of the Czech National team who opened the opportunity to attend this historic event to all the schools in the country. Patrik Kolkus, who plays first for the Czechs, said, “The opportunity to meet our supporters is a special moment for us.”
Though schools from around the community are being hosted throughout the tournament, few others can boast of having graduated four Olympic athletes, much less a Bronze Medal holder and a record setter.
Paralympic Medalist Marketa Mackova took her medal for Tri-cycling in the 2008 Games. Daniela Vratilova, who plays for TJ Nola Teplice in the Czech Republic, competed for the first time in 2001. She was ranked 4th in Discus Throw in 2008 and again in 2016. In 2008, Vratilova set a Paralympic record in the event. In 2011, she was also ranked 5th in the Javelin Throw. Frantisek Serbusis competes in the Men’s Club Throw event in Javelin along with Petr Vratil who does the same for the women.
The Jedlickuv Ustav School has existed for 100 years. They focus on self-sufficiency for their kids teaching socialization, integration and rehabilitation for individual special needs. While young, their classes concentrate more on the physical than academic but, as the children grow into themselves, the education picks up to include Czech, English, Math, Sports and the Arts. Many are taught trades.
Kolkus commented, “It doesn’t matter if they happen to be sitting in a wheelchair. It is important to realize they are just like we are where it matters most.”
Perhaps tomorrow’s next Olympiad is sitting in the stands today, looking up to a Czech national team player and planning their own path to the Games.