The present paper focuses on the documentation of the present and recent history of the Czech sport and physical education through the example of the Department of the Physical Education and Sport History at the National Museum. Apart from The Olympic Studies and Information Centre it is the only institution on the territory of the Czech lands which systematically preserves the history of this field of human activity on a long term basis. Unlike in the past it faces a number of difficulties which limit the documentation of this area of study. In spite of this inconvenience in many cases it is still possible to preserve the present of the Czech sport and physical education both from a general perspective and in terms of specific sport branches.
The study focuses on the theoretical and practical questions related to the possibilities and limits of the documentation of the present and recent history of the Czech sport and physical education. It also analyses the problems of the “present” in sports: how it is perceived, defined and its problematization in relation to a field, which is, given its nature and link to social changes, relatively young.
The present paper focuses on the resumption of individual sports associations foreign relations after 1945, and how it was affected both by the resumption of international sport matches and by exit permits of Czechoslovak athletes. Travelling abroad used to be highly regulated in this period and not many citizens met the strict conditions applied. Athletes thus received a status of state representants, became to an extent, privileged and had to, therefore, meet certain requirements. They also gained access to information and insight unavailable to ordinary citizens. The study analyses the differences between the trips to the so-called “friendly”, i.e. communist, countries and to the West, from the amounts of money spent on representations abroad to the reception by the host countries. The study focuses mainly on volleyball representatives whose golden age spanned the 1950s and 1960s and who were therefore considered the sport elite promoting volleyball in the world, in this period. Athletes would commonly share their experiences from abroad and pass these on to their fellow citizens during organised discussions or personal meetings. After finishing their active career, some sports representatives were approached by foreign organisations and offered further engagement. Even such matters were, however, regulated by The Czechoslovak Union of Physical Education and Sport. The life experiences and paths of selected athletes, through documents, diaries and oral history interviews, map out their reflection on foreign countries and on the issue of otherness.
The present paper focuses on how the Czechoslovak society received and reacted to the live radio broadcasting of FIFA World Cup in 1934. The public listening to the running commentaries raised the interest in sports among new social strata and in new geographic areas of the then Czechoslovakia. Radio broadcastings undoubtedly provoked a higher sensibility of listeners, as the example examined in this paper of the spread of rumours concerning the death of several Czechoslovak players, proved. The last part of the present paper looks at how the broadcasting of FIFA World Cup became a Czechoslovakian site of memory.
Football, the most popular game all over the world, reached the territory of todayʼs Czech Republic in the last decades of the 19th century. In Prague districts and suburbs especially, many Czech and German sport associations started to engage in this sport activity originally born in Britain. The sudden and long-lasting interruption of a positive development due to the mobilization in summer 1914 along with significant political and social changes following the end of First World War, isolated pre-war events and made of them the unique relict environment which forms the main topic of this paper. Leaving sports results aside, the study describes the period after 1900 in which football clubs were established, the enthusiastic amateur transformed into a professional player, loyalty to different teams stemmed on the basis of nationality and social status and football moved from the suburbs’ playgrounds to newly-built, larger and better-quality arenas.