of the Czech and Global
Ostrava’s Golden Spike is among the most important events
held in Czechia and is one of the oldest athletic competitions in
Europe. The world’s best athletes participate exclusively through
the organizer’s invitation. Jan Železný has won the competition
nine times in the past and now serves as its director. We were
given the unique opportunity to ask him a couple questions.
What three words would you use to
describe the Golden Spike?
I believe that three words is too little
for such an event, however, I would
describe it as an intense and emotional
show of athletic prowess supplemented
with an unforgettable atmosphere. It
is a unique spectacle with captivating
are all planned to take place consecutively,
meaning that throughout the season,
athletes continuously move from one
end of the world to the other; depending
on their performance at one event, they
Could you imagine a world where
the Golden Spike would be held in
a different city, or do you think that it has
become inextricably linked with Ostrava?
Ostrava is a city like no other. Of course,
anything is possible, who knows? However,
Ostrava’s synergy of having a great stadium
in close proximity to a magnificent hotel,
an experienced team of professionals with
lots of passion and the support of many
partners is not easy to replace.
What is your vision for the future?
Are you planning any organizational,
financial or perhaps staff changes?
This project is indisputably included among
the ‘silver family’ of the Czech and global
sports scenes. The World Athletics Federation
awarded it the title of World Athletic Heritage
and it has been ongoing for the past sixty-one
years. In 2020, Golden Spike Ostrava became
one of only ten athletic events in the entire
world to be included on the Continental Tour
Would you reveal to our readers this
year’s most famous participants or
events we might look forward to?
You can be excited to see the best Czech
athletes duke it out with the global elite.
Personally, I will, needless to say, be
looking forward to the javelin competition,
however, I cannot reveal the stars’ names
What is the most difficult aspect
of organizing an event like this?
Athletic competitions are generally
some of the most complicated when
it comes to organization, as you have
to account for many variables. For
example, accommodating dozens of
different disciplines, each one having its
own requirements, within a single area
happening in sequence. Everyone has
to be well tuned to perform, and this is
applicable not only to the athletes but
also the organizational and production
teams, including our partners and external
suppliers. The entire event needs to work
like a well-oiled machine in order for it
to be a great experience for the athletes
and their spectators. This requires a wellcoordinated team covering many different
fields; on event day, this includes dozens
of people! Additionally, you need to
transport a lot of people from around
the world along with their teams, give
them lodging and offer them top class
services. Events such as the Golden Spike
might have to reschedule entirely, which
might cause you to have to do the same,
and this one change can end up being
Conversely, in terms of organization,
what gives you the most joy?
The fact that we, at the Golden Spike,
are able to manage all of these moving
parts nearly perfectly. The team has
a lot of experience, one generation is
followed by the next, and experience
is well intertwined with the enthusiasm of
newer members. All of this leads to a great
atmosphere among the teams which then
spreads to our guests, the best athletes
from all over the world. This is also one
of the reasons why these athletes like
to return to Ostrava and would like to
continue doing so.
Gold. Our legacy is therefore magnificent,
inspiring and we have a duty to honor it. Our
history is one we should use to learn from,
however, we must not get lost in it. Our goal
is to maintain the Golden Spike’s position at
the peak, develop our prized tradition, go
with the times and maintain good financial
and human resources to make it all happen.
What message would you like to leave
local spectators with?
That I am excited to see them all again so
that we can meet at the stadium, drink
some beer, make some noise and have
goosebumps at the athletes’ performance.
I believe that we will all be able to cheer
in a packed stadium without the need for
Mr Železný, thank you for the interview.
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