Perhaps because it was a slow news day, Blesk recently published a list of “43 Czechs the world is talking about.”
From an expat’s perspective, the selection is an interesting insight into how Czechs (or at least, Czech tabloid journalists) think they’re seen by the rest of the world.
Even after nearly 20 years in the Czech Republic, PraguePig.com struggled to recognise a lot of names on the list, particularly in the Science & Medicine section.
If I’m completely honest, I only know around 25 of the names, a couple of whom only squeeze into the “sounds vaguely familiar” category. How about you?
ART & CULTURE
Karel Gott (singer)
Milan Kundera (author)
Eva Herzigova (model)
Milos Forman (film director)
Libor Pesek (conductor)
Eva Urbanova (opera)
Daria Klimentova (ballerina)
Karel Husa (composer)
Jan Saudek (photographer)
Karolina Kurkova (model)
Jaromir Jagr (ice hockey)
Petr Cech (football)
Pavel Nedved (football)
Gabriela Soukalova (biathlon)
Petra Kvitova (tennis)
Zuzana Hejnova (athletics)
Tomas Berdych (tennis)
Ester Ledecka (snowboarding)
Martina Sablikova (speed-skating)
Zdenek Stybar (cyclocross)
Jakub Voracek (ice hockey)
SCIENCE & MEDICINE
Bohdan Pomahac (plastic surgeon)
Miroslav Barta (Egyptologist)
Petr Vochozka (games developer)
Pavel Kolar (physiotherapist/sports medicine)
Eva Jiricna (architect)
Bohumir Jansky (hydrologist)
Oldrich Jirsak (technologist/nanofibres pioneer )
Blanka Rihova (immunologist/cancer treatment)
Jiri Bartek (molecular biologist)
Jan Klein (immunologist)
Jan Janousek (paediatric cardiologist)
POLITICS, BUSINESS, ETC.
Petr Pavel (soldier, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee)
Madeleine K. Albright (politician)
Hana Brixi (economist)
Robert Kyncl (Google)
Jan Muhlfeit (Microsoft)
Zdenek Turek (Citibank)
Petr Kellner (businessman)
Ales Holecek (Microsoft)
Meda Mladkova (art collector)
Eliska Haskova Coolidge (special assistant to the US president)
Senta Cermakova (manager at HP)
Perhaps most interesting are the people that don’t make the list.
Outside of sport, the only Czech I’d heard of when I moved to Prague was animator Jan Svankmajer.
Web entrepreneur Roman Stanek is also highly regarded in his field.
And given that Blesk isn’t normally particularly prudish, it’s odd that no porn stars made the list. No Nora “Dolly Buster” Baumberger?