Jiří Holík

* 1944  

  • “We were in the Western Germany with Dukla. Someone bought a transistor radio, switched it on in the morning and suddenly we heard that Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Russians. It was totally out of the blue for us, we were stunned. We were near Munich in Füssen. From there we were crossing over to Switzerland to Davos. There was a manifestation march against the Czechoslovak occupation, which we joined. Disaster. And now: shall we return or stay here? We had a huge dilemma. But some guys were married with kids and I was just about to get married (in 1969 I did). We were sitting in front of the borders on wooden logs deciding, whether to go home or not. We all came back then.”

  • “When I was slowly ending my carrier, they were always inviting us to the Castle, we went to see the president Husák and the prime minister Štrougal. We had something to talk about as he was a big sports fan. We were telling them: ‚We need you to let us go out to make some money.‘ Until today I remember: We were at the Castle, in the Spanish hall, and we already had a few drinks celebrating. We said it to the president Husák and he said: ‚Comrades, we shall take care of you.‘ That was all. But then, when the national team no more needed us, they let us out. Then I played in Germany for two years and in Austria too.”

  • “Hockey was all about beating the Russians. That was simply in the nation. That´s not today anymore, there are also other teams. Back then we could have lost to anyone, but had to beat the Russians. So we were really sharpened for them and they were a bit shy. On the other hand I got to admit that they were excellent players. Not even Canadians were as good as them at the time. Nowadays they don’t have the former quality. And we were really glibed for what´s happened here. We even had a psychologist, who was returning us back to the normal, as we were almost too motivated. And the Russians feared losing. We managed to beat them twice (at the world championship in 1969 – editor´s note). I don’t even remember the score; but do recall us departing (in Prague). The airport full of people: ‚Nevermind it is not gold, the double winning was worth it!‘ We bet them twice on two consecutive Fridays. There was a huge euphoria. Then my father called me: ‚Man, they want me to be a major.‘ In the street, where my parents lived, a march was passing by and the fans were screaming: ‚Holík to the townhall!‘”

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Nevermind the gold, the Fridays were worth it!

Contemporary portrait
Contemporary portrait
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Jiří Holík was born on 9 July, 1944 in Havlíčkův Brod. He came from butchers‘ family, his father, uncle and even grandfather devoted themselves to handicraft. But family tradition ended, when his father´s butchery got nationalised in 1950. The new domain of the Holíks became sport, and mainly hockey. Jiří was a top hockey player and his older brother Jaroslav (1942-2015) and later also a nephew, Robert Holík. His niece, Andrea Holíková, devoted herself to top level of tennis. The witness studied eleven-years of secondary school and later also pedagogic faculty, approbation PE and geography. The fist hockey success was celebrated already in 1961, when he won the republic championship as a youngster with a hockey club Jiskra Havlíčkův Brod. As a grown-up he shortly acted in the Prague Sparta and then for a long time in a club Dukla Jihlava, where he played side by side with his brother. At the age of nineteen years he was accepted to the national team, where he played a record of 319 matches and shot 132 goals. He won four medals of winter Olympic games and eleven of the world championship, and three times gold medal (in 1972, 1976 and 1977). He participated in the world championship in ice hockey in 1969, which followed after the Soviet occupation of the Czechoslovakia and where the Czechoslovak team beat the Soviet hockey players twice, which earned them much appreciation and fame back in the country. After finishing the contract in the Czechoslovak representation Jiří Holík played hockey in Germany and Austria; later he taught at the grammar school Seifertova in Jihlava and trained children hockey. Nowadays he is retired and devotes himself mainly to his family and plays golf on recreation basis.