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Olympic rowing champion Knapkova cheers for Kolocova/Slukova

Olympic rowing champion Miroslava Knapkova
Prague, Czech Republic, May 25, 2014 - Olympic rowing champion Miroslava Knapkova came to support her fellow Czechs Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Prague Open on Sunday.

They got to know each other at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but this was the first time skiff champion Knapkova watched the Czech beach volleyball team live. And she enjoyed it, especially since Kolocova and Slukova won gold.

Former president

Knapkova was not the only one cheering for the Czech team. Every day the home crowd came in large numbers to Stvanice Island, where the Prague Open was held, to support their favourite athletes. Even the former Czech president Vaclav Klaus came on Sunday.

“It is amazing here”, said Knapkova. “This is the best for the Czech girls. Having success here, is even more valuable, because they play at home and have all the support of the fans. I think they enjoyed it a lot”, Knapkova said.

Even though Knapkova knows Kolocova and Slukova well from London, where the Czech girls finished fifth, today it was the first time she actually had a chance to watch them live.

“We had some meetings together after London, and they both are really nice. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to watch their matches, so finally I came today to support them.”

Sand and summer

Knapkova is preparing for the European rowing championships, which start next week in Belgrade. Even though her calendar is full, she finds time to rest or even play a game of beach volleyball occasionally.

“I do not play beach volleyball too often, because I am not good in it. However, I think this sport is relaxing, if you imagine the sand and the summer. I know the girls work hard on the court, but we as spectators enjoy it.”

Beach volleyball vs. rowing

It might seem that rowing and beach volleyball have nothing in common, but Miroslava Knapkova finds some parallels between these two sports.

“We also contest outside and we have to be ready for the weather changes. Fortunately, we can dress more than the girls. Sometimes I am not envious of them for wearing only a bikini, at least we can wear a long sleeve t-shirt”, Knapkova joked.


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