Monday, February 13, 2012

Czechoslovakia, 1949

The things you find online: this was a pickup for a few bucks on the Swedish version of eBay; it's something I would have been salivating over for 50 times the price.



It's a page from a 1949 Swedish magazine, and those fellows there make up the Czechoslovakian national team. They won the World Championships that year, their second title in three years. Thanks largely to this event, they wouldn't win again for more than two decades.

The lineup is:

Standing -- Josef Jirka, coach Antonín Vodička, František Vacovský, Jiří Macelis, Čeněk Pícha, Zdeněk Marek, Josef Trousílek, Přemysl Hainý, Miloslav Charouzd, Vladimír Zábrodský, radio reporter Josef Laufer, Augustin Bubník

Kneeling -- Vladimír Kobranov, Vladimír Bouzek, Václav Roziňák, Oldřich Němec, Stanislav Konopásek, František Mizera, Bohumil Modrý

A year or so after this photo was taken, Jirka, Hainý, Bubník, Kobranov, Roziňák, Konopasek, Macelis, and Modrý were all in jail. Marek had defected to the United States. Czechoslovakia didn't do better than bronze at the WCs until 1961, and didn't win gold again until 1972. Now, more than 60 years after this photo was taken, Zábrodský, Bubník, Kobranov, Marek, and Vacovský are the only players still alive.

Update, July 8, 2013: commenter Tomáš Kohy Kučera corrected some misidentified players. Thanks, Tomáš. Also, Zdeněk Marek is still alive.

3 comments:

Tomáš Kohy Kučera said...

Correct order and names of players and staff is: Josef Jirka, Antonín Vodička - designed coach, František Vacovský, Jiří Macelis, Čeněk Pícha, Zdeněk Marek, Josef Trousílek, Přemysl Hainý, Miloslav Charouzd, Vladimír Zábrodský, Josef Laufer - radio reporter, Augustin Bubník. Vladimír Kobranov, Vladimír Bouzek, Václav Roziňák, Oldřich Němec, Stanislav Konopásek, František Mizera, Bohumil Modrý.

gsdgsd13 said...

Thanks, Tomáš. I've updated the page.

Tomáš Kohy Kučera said...

Unfortunatelly Zdeněk Marek died in 2009.