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Šárka Strachová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈʃaːrka ˈstraxovaː]; born Záhrobská on 11 February 1985) is a retired Czech World Cup alpine ski racer. Born in Benecko, she specializes in the slalom event. Strachová is the first alpine racer representing the Czech Republic to medal at the Winter Olympics and at the World Championships and just the second Czech alpine skier ever to medal in the Olympics.
Strachová in December 2008
|Club||Ski Team Krkonoš|
|Born||11 February 1985|
|Height||175 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|World Cup debut||15 December 2002|
|Retired||28 March 2017 |
|Teams||3 – (2006, 2010, 2014)|
|Medals||1 (0 gold)|
|Teams||9 – (2001–17)|
|Medals||4 (1 gold)|
|Seasons||15 – (2003–17)|
|Wins||2 – (2 SL)|
|Podiums||17 – (17 SL)|
|Overall titles||0 – (9th in 2007)|
|Discipline titles||0 – (2nd in SL, 2009)|
Ski racing careerEdit
Záhrobská won the gold medal in slalom at the 2007 World Championships and narrowly missed a bronze in the super combined, finishing in 4th place by 0.20 seconds. Two years earlier, she won her first medal at the 2005 World Championships, taking the bronze in slalom while placing fifth in the combined. It was the first World Championships medal for a Czech alpine skier. In the 2006 Winter Olympics, Strachová finished 13th in slalom, 19th in the combined, and 27th in super-G; she did not finish the second run of the giant slalom.
On the World Cup circuit, Záhrobská made her debut in December 2002 at age 17 and finished 5th in her first race, a parallel slalom (an experimental format using a series of elimination races) in Sestriere, Italy. She ended the 2004 and 2006 seasons ranked in the top 10 in slalom, and broke into the top 30 in the overall ranking in 2006. She reached her first World Cup podium in January 2007, with a third place in the slalom on at Zagreb, Croatia, and followed it up with a 2nd place in the slalom three days later at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. This ended a 21-year-long drought for Czech alpine skiers on the World Cup podium, since Olga Charvátová took 2nd place in Bromont, Quebec, on 22 March 1986. She won her first World Cup race in November 2008 in Aspen, Colorado, and reached the podium two additional times in the 2009 season to finish as the runner-up in the season slalom standings. She won again at Aspen in November 2009.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Strachová took the bronze medal in the slalom at Whistler. This made her the first Czech to ever medal in alpine skiing for the Czech Republic and just the second Czech ever, once again joining Olga Charvátová, who won a bronze in the 1984 Winter Olympics while competing for Czechoslovakia.
Strachová has also won numerous medals at the National Alpine Skiing Championships of the Czech Republic and other nations. She has been the National Champion (i.e. gold medalist) at the Czech (2002: slalom; 2003: slalom, giant slalom and super-G; 2004: slalom, giant slalom; 2005: slalom, giant slalom; 2006: super-G), Slovenian (2006: giant slalom), and Croatian (2006: giant slalom) national championships. Her giant slalom victory at the 2006 Croatian championships was by a narrow 0.15 second margin over Janica Kostelić, who had just beaten Strachová for the super-G title the previous day and was coming off one of the most dominant seasons in World Cup skiing history.
Šárka Strachová and her brother Petr Záhrobský are the only skiers of the Ski Team Krkonoš. Their personal coach is their father Petr Záhrobský. The team has not had good relationships with the Czech Ski Association. The coach protested, especially after the association officials approved the rule that Czech skiers have to prefer their home competitions to the foreign ones, and refused to follow it, stating that Strachová needs better rivals to remain a premier international skier. Šárka Strachová also does not prepare with the rest of the Czech national team because her father believes it would disadvantage her career.
On 28 March 2017 Strachová announced her retirement from professional skiing aged 32.
World Cup resultsEdit
- Standings through 31 January 2017
|2007||4 Jan 2007||Zagreb, Croatia||Slalom||3rd|
|7 Jan 2007||Kranjska Gora, Slovenia||Slalom||2nd|
|11 Mar 2007||Zwiesel, Germany||Slalom||2nd|
|2008||25 Nov 2007||Panorama, Canada||Slalom||2nd|
|14 Mar 2008||Bormio, Italy||Slalom||3rd|
|2009||30 Nov 2008||Aspen, USA||Slalom||1st|
|4 Jan 2009||Zagreb, Croatia||Slalom||3rd|
|13 Mar 2009||Åre, Sweden||Slalom||3rd|
|2010||29 Nov 2009||Aspen, USA||Slalom||1st|
|2015||29 Dec 2014||Kühtai, Austria||Slalom||2nd|
|22 Feb 2015||Maribor, Slovenia||Slalom||3rd|
|14 Mar 2015||Åre, Sweden||Slalom||3rd|
|2016||29 Nov 2015||Aspen, USA||Slalom||3rd|
|5 Jan 2016||Santa Caterina, Italy||Slalom||2nd|
|12 Jan 2016||Flachau, Austria||Slalom||2nd|
|2017||3 Jan 2017||Zagreb, Croatia||Slalom||3rd|
|11 Mar 2017||Squaw Valley, USA||Slalom||2nd|
World Championship resultsEdit
Olympic results Edit
- "Šárka Záhrobská's profile". Idnes.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 18 February 2007.
- "Záhrobský: Our way is good". Lidovky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 17 February 2007.
- "Czech skier Sarka Strachova announces retirement". fis-ski.com. Retrieved 28 March 2008.
- "Miss Zahrobska becomes Mrs Strachova". fis-ski.com. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Královna českého lyžování Šárka Strachová je těhotná. Užívám si to, říká". idnes.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Šárka Strachová at the International Ski Federation
- Šárka Strachová World Cup standings at the International Ski Federation
- Šárka Strachová at Ski-DB Alpine Ski Database
- Šárka Strachová at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com
- Official website (in Czech, English, and German)
- Milka Ski Stars – Šárka Strachová
| Flagbearer for Czech Republic
| Czech Junior Athlete of the Year