One of the best athletes in Czech history
Emil Zatopek, a four-time Olympic winner, eighteen-times world record holder and world's best athlete in 1949, 1951 and 1952, achieved successes over the courses of 5 000 metres, 10 000 metres and the marathon. On the 5,000 m track in 1954, he surpassed the time of 13: 57.2 which was the world record and he became the first Czechoslovakian athlete to run under the time limit of 14 minutes. In 1948, he ran a distance of 10,000 m and was the first Czech to do so in under 30 minutes. Six years later, he finished the race as the first man on the planet with a time of less than 29 minutes (28: 54.2).
His greatest successes was achieved at the Olympic Games in London (1948) and Helsinki (1952). In England, he won gold in the 10 000 m and silver in the 5,000 m race. In Finland, he was again triumphant with gold medals in the 10 000 m, 5 000 m as well as the marathon, which he ran here for the first time in his life. In this Olympics, his wife Dana also won gold in the javelin.
In 1948, he was awarded the Guth-Jarkovského and later the Fair Play UNESCO Award in Paris in 1975. In 1999, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Czech Olympic Committee, he became the Olympian of the century. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Pierre de Coubertin and the Golden Order of Merit of athletics.
In 2002, a memorial to Zátopek was unveiled in front of the Technical Museum, Tatra Kopřivnice. Inside the museum, there is a Hall of Fame that is dedicated to both Emil and his wife, Dana. In 2003, a bust was placed in the Vítkovice stadium in Ostrava.