Kateřina Neumannová

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Kateřina Neumannová
File:Katerina Neumannova.jpg
Kateřina Neumannová in 2007
Personal information
Born (1973-02-15) 15 February 1973 (age 48)

Kateřina Neumannová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈkatɛr̝ɪna ˈnojmanovaː]) (born 15 February 1973) is a retired Czech cross country skier. She won an Olympic Gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics, in the 30 km freestyle event. She is one of five cross country skiers to ever compete at six Olympics.

She was also the first Czech woman to appear in both a Summer and Winter Olympics, having participated in the mountain biking event at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Neumannová retired after the 2006-07 World Cup season.[1]

Career overview

She was a flatwater canoeist and downhill skier before moving to cross country skiing at sixteen. Neumannová made her first appearance in the Winter Olympics in 1992 in Albertville. Her goal was only to gain experience.[2] However in all races (both individual and relay) she belonged to the best Czechoslovak athletes.[2] Two years later in Lillehammer she was already among the best.[2] She was 8th in 5 km classical and 6th in combination with 10 km free.

Her training during summer involved riding mountain bike and when the sport become popular she decided to race in it. Thanks to her strong muscles she quickly achieved successes. In 1995, she won a bronze medal at the European Championships,[3] and she also qualified for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Although cross-country skiing remained her main sport and her summer training was usually lighter she took preparations for Atlanta seriously. "This time I left out the pleasant period and started abruptly. Thanks to it I achieved results in athletic tests that I last run in junior categories"[4] she said before Olympics. But her preparations were not in the best conditions. She practised in a cold weather in Šumava while great heat was expected for Atlanta race[5] On 31 July 1996 she became the first Czech female athlete to compete on both Winter and Summer Olympics when starting in the mountain bike race at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers, USA. But the race itself was a horror for her. She fell off the bike early in the race. "I overrun about 15 racers but then a terrible crisis came upon me. I did not race anymore, I just wanted to finish," she described the race.[6] She mainly complained about the terrible heat and said it was one of her worst experiences.[5]

First major medal

Neumannová started the 1996/1997 season with a fourth place in the World Cup opener. The race took place in Kiruna and was run on 5 km free. Neumannová was content with the result but complained about soft snow she did not like. "If the track was more firm, I believe I would stand on the platform", she commented.[7][8] At the end of the year she clearly dominated the Czech Championships on 5 km free and 10 km classic. She commented it was mainly training for her as the main goal for the season was World Championships. For it she announced a goal to finish among best six.[9]

Only two weeks later, on January 11 and 12, she achieved two second places in the World Cup. It was again on the 5 km and 10 km distances, but this time it was 5 km classic and 10 km free. The race was run in Hakuba, Japan on the tracks ready for 1998 Winter Olympics[10][11]

On 17 February 2005, she won the 10 km free at the Nordic skiing World Championships. Neumannová defended her 10 km free title at the following championships in Sapporo on 27 February 2007.

On 24 February 2006, in her final Olympic race, Neumannová won her first Winter Olympic gold medal in the 30 km freestyle mass start and became the oldest winner in the event.

On 14 January 2007 Neumannová received the title Czech Sportsperson of the Year 2006, a trophy awarded by journalists in the Czech Republic.

Career successes

  • 1992 Olympics in Albertville: 13th at 5 km classical, 14th at 15 km classical, 22nd at 10 km free, 6th at relay
  • 1993 Junior cross country skiing world championships: 1st at 5 km classical, 3rd at 15 km free
  • 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer: 14th at 15 km classical, 6th at 10 km free, 8th at 5 km classical, 9th at relay
  • 1995 Nordic skiing world championships: 11th at 5 km classical, 13th at combined, 7th at 15 km classical
  • 1996 Olympics in Atlanta: 18th Mountain Bike Cross Country [12]
  • 1997 3rd at Cross-country skiing World Cup
  • 1997 Nordic skiing world championships: 3rd at 15 km free, 4th at combined, 6th at 5 km classical
  • 1998 Olympics in Nagano: 2nd at 5 km classical, 3rd at 10 km free, 9th at 15 km classical, 6th at relay
  • 1998 1st at Mountain bike Czech Cup
  • 1998 1st at Czech Mountain bike Championships, Velké Losiny
  • 1999 Nordic skiing world championships: 3rd at 5 km classical
  • 1999 3rd at Mountain bike Czech Cup
  • 1999 1st at Czech Mountain bike Championships, Most
  • 2000 Czech Mountain bike Championships, Olomouc, 1st at relay (with Kořínek and Kášek)
  • 2000 2nd at Czech Mountain bike Championships, Velké Losiny
  • 2001 9th at Cross-country skiing World Cup
  • 2002 2nd at Cross-country skiing World Cup
  • 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City: 2nd at 15 km free, 2nd at combined, 4th at relay, 9th at sprint
  • 2002 Czech Championships, Jablonec nad Nisou: 1.st at 5 km classical
  • 2002 2nd at Cross-country skiing World Cup
  • 2004 9th at Cross-country skiing World Cup
  • 2005 Nordic skiing world championships: 1st at 10 km free, 7th at 30 km classical, 7th at pursuit
  • 2006 Olympics in Turin: 1st at 30 km free, 2nd at pursuit, 5th at 10 km classical
  • 2007 Nordic skiing world championships: 2nd at 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit, 1st at 10 km free

FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009

In late 2006, Neumannová was named an honorary vice president of the organizing committee for the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009 at Liberec, Czech Republic. On 25 July 2007, she succeeded Roman Kumpost as chair of the organizing committee for the 2009 championships.[13]

Personal life

On 2 July 2003, Neumannová became a mother, giving birth to a girl named Lucie.

See also


  1. FIS Newsflash 122. 11 April 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Profile on Czech Olympic Committee's webpage, accessed 22 August 2006
  3. "Neumannová neví, zda bude jezdit", MF Dnes, 10 April 1996 page 23
  4. Original (Czech): "Tentokrát jsem příjemné období vynechala a šla jsem na to rovnou zostra. Díky tomu jsem při atletických testech zaběhla časy, jakých jsem naposledy dosáhla v juniorkách
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Neumannová se na vedro málem chystala ve sněhu", MF Dnes, 18 July 1996, page 18, available through [1] (registration required)
  6. Original (Czech): "Dojela jsem asi patnáct závodnic, ale pak na mě padla hrozná krize. Už jsem nezávodila, jen jsem se snažila dojet."
  7. Original (Czech): "Kdyby trať byla tvrdší, věřím, že bych stála na stupni vítězů"
  8. (25 November 1996). Neumannová doběhla čtvrtá i na měkkém sněhu. MF DNES p. 13
  9. (30 December 1996). "Neumannová běhala v krutém mrazu suverénně". MFDNES, p. 02
  10. (13 January 1997). "Neumannová zazářila v Japonsku". MF DNES p. 01
  11. (13 January 1997). "Neumannová doběhla v Hakubě dvakrát druhá". MF DNES p. 02
  12. "Neumannová ve vedru vzpomínala na mrazy", MF Dnes, 31 July 1996, page 19, available through [2] (registration needed)
  13. FIS NewsFlash 138. 1 August 2007.

External links