Czech Olympic Academy


Country Czech Republic
Name of AcademyCzech Olympic Academy (COA)
Česká olympijská akademie
Name of PresidentAlexandr KLIMENT
Contact PersonAlexandr KLIMENT
Foundation date30 April 1987
Year of accession to EOA2018 (founding member)
Social media linksN/A

Meet our members – An interview series by the EOA

See all interviews here

In spring 2022, Zdenek Skoda kindly met with the EOA to introduce us to the world of the Czech Olympic Academy (COA) with its functions, organisation, aims, goals, and achievements. Skoda has nine years of working experience in the Academy and currently serves as its Secretary. With his well-rounded knowledge of how Olympism is being spread in the Czech Republic, we left the meeting with a detailed description of the Czech NOA and are delighted further to share this information with the rest of our members.

First, in order to understand how and why the COA functions, it is essential to begin with the historical creation leading to its current setting as a NOC department. Zdenek Skoda starts by mentioning that 2022 marks, in fact, the 35th anniversary of the NOA. In 1987, IOC President Antonio Samaranch visited Prague to celebrate the founding of an Olympic Academy that would help promote Olympic values in Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic. Today, it can be seen as a department of the NOC of the Czech Republic with a council of six members, the President, Alexandr Kliment, and 2 Vice Presidents. There is one permanent representative of the Czech Pierre de Coubertin Committee (who is Zdenek Skoda in this case), and he is also the only paid staff member. Besides him, the COA comprises of volunteers. All of the membering individuals are elected by the NOC, and so is the COA’s plenum, which consists of academics or known individuals in Olympic education and sport in the Czech Republic.

The founding of the Czech Olympic Academy with IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1987. © Czech Olympic Academy

In terms of funding, the NOC, the National Government and the Olympic Solidary programme provide the majority of the financial support to the Academy. The COA often collaborates with teachers and university professors to implement Olympic education into the curriculum of primary schools. This comes in the form of creating journals for children about concepts related to Olympism, or exhibitions at the National Museum in Prague, for example, the Tokyo 1940/1964/2020 Exhibition or the recent Vera Caslavska Exhibition. Aside from this, the Olympic Academy also assists in Olympic festivals, participates in historical research and collaborates with the NPCC for Olympic education projects.

International cooperation is also another priority for the Czech NOA, and they have achieved multiple collaborative projects with the Slovakian NOA due to their historical background and connection. Lastly, they are also in charge of holding an Olympic photo archive, administrating the Olympic Study Centre within the public library and assisting various organisations such as the Czech National Museum, the Military Institute Prague, the Sokol Movement, Czech broadcasters and the IOC with its Olympic Multimedia Library and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne.

The main office of the Czech Olympic Committee. © Czech Olympic Academy

Projects of the Academy

  • In 2020, a publication entitled The Rebirth of the Olympic Games was published, which for the first time in Czech deals extensively with the origins of the modern Olympic movement and Athens 1896.
  • In 2020, IOC OVEP manuals were translated into Czech.
  • In autumn 2020, The Olympic Century exhibition took place in Prague and Liberec.
  • In co-operation with the National Museum and the Military History Institute, a magnificent exhibition of Olympic Tokyo 1940–1964–2020 was opened in Prague at the National Museum in May 2021.  It focuses mainly on the three Tokyo Games – the ones that did not take place in 1940, the ones that were held in 1964 and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad that were (for the first time in history) postponed and that took place in the summer of 2021. The exhibition was open for 5 months and the exhibition also included accompanying events (guided tours, press conferences atc.).
  • Furthermore, the Czech Olympic Academy, in co-operation with the European Olympic Academies, initiated and prepared the online gallery Golden Memories – a photo memory of Tokyo 1964. 12 European countries participated in this project.
  • In 2021, the Czech Olympic Academy published two more books. First Antwerp 1920: for the first time at the Olympic Games under the Czechoslovak flag and then an exceptional and comprehensive Encyclopedia of Olympians, which summarizes all Czech and Czechoslovak participation from 1900 to 2018. This book was created under the direction of ISOH member František Kolář.
  • The Czech Olympic Academy also assists the Czech Olympic Committee in projects focusing on Olympic education such as educational zones for children and youth at Olympic festivals in Prague and Brno or, for example, the educational game „Prague and Brno #olympijsky“.
  • The Czech Olympic Academy is managing the project revitalization of the Olympic Study and Information Center of the Czech Olympic Committee.

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