VERA CASLAVSKA / by Molly Schiot

Czech gymnast Vera Cáslavská dominated the sport during the 1960s, winning seven Olympic gold medals in individual events. She is the only gymnast, male or female, to have won gold in each discipline.  A vocal supporter of the Czech democratic movement, Cáslavská opposed the Soviet influence on her home country, often looking away when the national anthem was played at events.  As a result of her outspoken stance, the new Soviet regime barred her from travelling or attending sporting events, effectively forcing her into retirement.  The ban was later lifted with the help of the IOC and Cáslavská went on to hold several distinguished positions, including President of the Czech Olympic Committee.

Czech gymnast Vera Cáslavská dominated the sport during the 1960s, winning seven Olympic gold medals in individual events. She is the only gymnast, male or female, to have won gold in each discipline.  A vocal supporter of the Czech democratic movement, Cáslavská opposed the Soviet influence on her home country, often looking away when the national anthem was played at events.  As a result of her outspoken stance, the new Soviet regime barred her from travelling or attending sporting events, effectively forcing her into retirement.  The ban was later lifted with the help of the IOC and Cáslavská went on to hold several distinguished positions, including President of the Czech Olympic Committee.