International Journal of Literary Culture / Internationale Zeitschrift für literarische Kultur
Ed. by Biti, Vladimir / Liska, Vivian
CiteScore 2018: 0.12
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.329
I have to admit I do not care for jogging. But I have always had an admiration for runners. “Nurmi Nurmi” were the first words I remember ever hearing on the radio. I had to ask what they meant, because – at that age – I had understood “nur mich, nur mich”. My first sporting hero was Emil Zatopek, maybe because I suspected him to be an outsider, on account of the ‘Z’ of his surname, the last letter of the alphabet. My father once tried to comfort me, by saying, after I told him that in the line-up in gym class I was always last, because of my height: “Mach dir nichts draus, die Letzten werden die Ersten sein”. Experience told me there was no reason to believe him, but Zatopek seemed to prove him right, and I still recall the Czech national anthem, played at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. In November 2000, I chanced to read about Zatopek's death, and I suddenly had this image of a man running and running all these years, somewhere in the Moravian mountains, past Communists and Russian tanks, past the Velvet Revolution, past his country's partition and Vaclav Havel's presidency.