Emil Zatopek - Long Distance Runner, Facts and Life

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Emil Zatopek's Personal Details

Emil Zatopek was an accomplished, world record breaking long distance runner

InformationDetail
BirthdaySeptember 19, 1922
Died onNovember 22, 2000
NationalityCzech
FamousLong Distance Runner, Sportspersons, Marathon Runners, Athletes
Nick namesCzech Locomotive
SpousesDana Zátopková
Birth PlaceKoprivnice
GenderMale
Sun SignVirgo
Born inKoprivnice
Famous asLong Distance Runner
Died at Age78

// Famous Long Distance Runner

Emil Zatopek's photo

Who is Emil Zatopek?

One of the greatest long-distance runners of the 20th century, Emil Zatopek shot to great fame with his three gold medal victories at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki in 1952. Proclaimed as the ‘Greatest Runner of All Time’ by the Runner's World Magazine, Zatopek is known for his hard working nature and tough and challenging training methods. He is known to have pushed himself through grueling and strenuous training routines in order to get the best out of himself. This legendary runner was nicknamed ‘Czech Locomotive’ and ‘Bouncing Czech’ for his extraordinary abilities to perform consistently on the track. He set a total of eighteen world records in various long distance running competitions, including 500 meter and 30000 meter races. He has won a total of four Olympic gold medals and a silver medal. He was the first athlete to run the 10 km race in a time span of under 29 minutes and ran 20 km race within an hour. He is also known for his unique and distinctive running style, facial expressions on the track and his posture. To learn more interesting facts about his childhood, personal life and professional achievements, scroll down and continue to read this biography.

// Famous Marathon Runners

Childhood & Early Life

Emil Zatopek was born in Koprivnice, Czechoslovakia in a modest family.

He started working at Bata, a shoe factory, in 1937. The factory sports coach persuaded him to take part in a race, in which he came second.

In 1944, he participated in the 2000, 3000 and 5000 meter races and he broke the Czechoslovak records in each of them.

He later joined the Czechoslovak Army at the end of the World War II and in 1947 he graduated from the Military Academy in Hranice.

In 1946, he was chosen to run for the Czechoslovak national team in the European Championships. He completed the 5000m race in the fifth position and thus broke his own Czechoslovak record.

Career

In 1948, he first participated in the 10 km track race that was held in Budapest. Here, he was victorious and ended up setting a national record.

Later in 1948, he made his debut in an international competition, the 1948 Summer Olympics, which was held in London. He was the winner of the 10000 metre race and stood in the second position in the 50000 metre race.

In 1949, he broke the ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’, twice at Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, on June 11 and October 22. He performed well during the next four seasons and improved his record.

In 1950, he was the winner of the 5000 metre race and the 10000 metre race at the European Championships. In August, he set ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’ that was held in Turku, Finland.

In 1951, he participated in the ‘one hour run’, an international track event recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. He broke the record at the track races held in Prague and Star� Boleslav.

In the 1952 Summer Olympics that was held in Helsinki, he was victorious in the 5000 metre run and the 10000 metre run that earned him 2 gold medals. He won his third gold medal at the event, after he completed the marathon.

On November 1, 1953, he broke the ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’ in Stara Boleslav, Czechoslovakia.

In 1954, he won the 10000 metre race and became the first athlete to break the 29 minute barrier, thus winning the gold medal at the European Athletics Championships. He also won a bronze medal in the 5000 metre race.

In 1956, after he recovered from a groin injury, he participated in the Melbourne Olympics, where he finished the marathon in the sixth position. The following year he retired from running.

After he retired from running, he remained in the Army and in the year 1964, he rose to the position of a Colonel. He later worked in the Ministry of Defence.

Awards & Achievements

In 1998, he was honoured with the title of ‘White Lion’, one of Czech’s highest awards. The title was conferred to him by the then Czech President Vaclav Havel.

In 2000, he was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal It’s a special decoration conferred by the International Olympic Committee.

In 2012, he was named one among twelve athletes who would be inducted into the IAAF Hall of Fame.

Personal Life & Legacy

After he returned from the London Olympics in 1948, he married Dana Zatopkova, who was a javelin thrower.

He died at the age of 78, in Prague, after he had been ill for a long time with pneumonia. His funeral was held at the Prague National Theatre.

Trivia

This record breaking long distance runner is known for his brutal training methods and it is believed that he repeatedly trained with his wife on his back.

This accomplished, world record breaking long distance runner had a jovial and friendly personality. He once playfully tried to take credit, at a press conference for his wife’s victory at the Olympics.

// Famous Sportspersons

Emil Zatopek awards

YearNameAward

Other

000 meters
1948Olympic Champions Gold for 10
000 m
1948Olympic Champions Silver for 5
000 m
1950European Champions in Men's 5000 m
1950European Champions in Men's 10
000 m
1954European Champions in Men's 10
000 m
1950European Athletics Championships Gold for 5
000 m
1950European Athletics Championships Gold for 10
000 m
1954European Athletics Championships Gold for 10
000 m
1954European Athletics Championships Bronze for 5
000 m
- IAAF Hall of Fame
2000 - Pierre de Coubertin medal
1952 - Olympic Champions Gold for Men's 5000 m
1952 - Olympic Champions Gold for Men's 10

Emil Zatopek biography timelines

  • // 19th Sep 1922
    Emil Zatopek was born in Koprivnice, Czechoslovakia in a modest family.
  • // 1937
    He started working at Bata, a shoe factory, in 1937. The factory sports coach persuaded him to take part in a race, in which he came second.
  • // 1944
    In 1944, he participated in the 2000, 3000 and 5000 meter races and he broke the Czechoslovak records in each of them.
  • // 1946
    In 1946, he was chosen to run for the Czechoslovak national team in the European Championships. He completed the 5000m race in the fifth position and thus broke his own Czechoslovak record.
  • // 1948
    In 1948, he first participated in the 10 km track race that was held in Budapest. Here, he was victorious and ended up setting a national record.
  • // 1948
    Later in 1948, he made his debut in an international competition, the 1948 Summer Olympics, which was held in London. He was the winner of the 10000 metre race and stood in the second position in the 50000 metre race.
  • // 1948
    After he returned from the London Olympics in 1948, he married Dana Zatopkova, who was a javelin thrower.
  • // 1949
    In 1949, he broke the ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’, twice at Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, on June 11 and October 22. He performed well during the next four seasons and improved his record.
  • // 1950
    In 1950, he was the winner of the 5000 metre race and the 10000 metre race at the European Championships. In August, he set ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’ that was held in Turku, Finland.
  • // 1951
    In 1951, he participated in the ‘one hour run’, an international track event recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. He broke the record at the track races held in Prague and Star� Boleslav.
  • // 1952
    In the 1952 Summer Olympics that was held in Helsinki, he was victorious in the 5000 metre run and the 10000 metre run that earned him 2 gold medals. He won his third gold medal at the event, after he completed the marathon.
  • // 1953
    On November 1, 1953, he broke the ‘Men's 10,000 metres world record’ in Stara Boleslav, Czechoslovakia.
  • // 1954
    In 1954, he won the 10000 metre race and became the first athlete to break the 29 minute barrier, thus winning the gold medal at the European Athletics Championships. He also won a bronze medal in the 5000 metre race.
  • // 1956
    In 1956, after he recovered from a groin injury, he participated in the Melbourne Olympics, where he finished the marathon in the sixth position. The following year he retired from running.
  • // 1998
    In 1998, he was honoured with the title of ‘White Lion’, one of Czech’s highest awards. The title was conferred to him by the then Czech President Vaclav Havel.
  • // 22nd Nov 2000
    He died at the age of 78, in Prague, after he had been ill for a long time with pneumonia. His funeral was held at the Prague National Theatre.

// Famous Athletes

Emil Zatopek's FAQ

  • What is Emil Zatopek birthday?

    Emil Zatopek was born at 1922-09-19

  • When was Emil Zatopek died?

    Emil Zatopek was died at 2000-11-22

  • Where was Emil Zatopek died?

    Emil Zatopek was died in Prague

  • Which age was Emil Zatopek died?

    Emil Zatopek was died at age 78

  • Where is Emil Zatopek's birth place?

    Emil Zatopek was born in Koprivnice

  • What is Emil Zatopek nationalities?

    Emil Zatopek's nationalities is Czech

  • What is Emil Zatopek nick names?

    Emil Zatopek's nickNames is Czech Locomotive

  • Who is Emil Zatopek spouses?

    Emil Zatopek's spouses is Dana Zátopková

  • What is Emil Zatopek's sun sign?

    Emil Zatopek is Virgo

  • How famous is Emil Zatopek?

    Emil Zatopek is famouse as Long Distance Runner