published: 27.09.2013, 17:19 | updated: 27.09.2013 17:25:50
Prague - Decathletes Robert Zmelik and Roman Sebrle, Japanese studies scholar Vlasta Winkelhoeferova, folk musician Jiri Pavlica and seafarer Richard Konkolski were among the 17 personalities that received silver commemorative medals from the Czech Senate today.
The medals were also given to outstanding academics and doctors on the Czech Statehood Day by Senate chairman Milan Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD).
Sebrle won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and held the world record in decathlon between 2001 and 2012.
Zmelik won the decathlon race at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Pavlica has headed the Hradistan folk music troupe for 25 years.
Konkolski is the first Czech to have circumnavigated the Earth. He did so three times.
Although he defected to the USA in 1982, he has never severed his contacts with the Czech Republic.
The decoration was also given to U.S. poet and translator Michael March who has been living in Prague since 1996.
March is president of the international Prague Writers' Festival thanks to which the Czech Republic has been visited by a number of Nobel Prize laureates.
The medal was also given to Gjon Perdedaj from Kosovo. In 2000, he defended an elderly woman attacked by a thief who has not yet been caught.
The thief assailed Perdedaj with a knife and caused his crippling.
Another medal was given to Ilja Hradecky, founder of the civic group Nadeje (Hope) that provides care to the homeless, lonely, disabled and disadvantaged people.
The Senate awarded the medals for the second time in its history before the Saint Wenceslas Day. It has awarded the personalities separately since 2007.
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