As we look to the 2020 Olympics in 2021, join National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and Sokol Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, July 21 at 6 p.m. for a special event to kick off the Olympics.
The program will begin with a live broadcast from Slovakia featuring Mr. Martin Gilian, a member of a special Olympic Committee, that is introducing a new sport into the Olympics. Mr. Gilian, from Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, is the founder of Outbreak Europe, the largest break dancing event in the world. He was appointed to a special committee to establish “breaking” as an Olympic sport. He will share his story and progress in developing this historic initiative.
Following Mr. Gilian’s presentation, a local Cedar Rapids panel will discuss the impact that both Sokol and Czech and Slovak athletes’ worldwide have had on the Olympics. At 7 p.m., Dr. Robert J. Tomanek, a scholar and author, will talk on his new book “Czech Immigrants and the Sokol Movement.” Following his presentation there will be a book signing and refreshments served by NCSML and Sokol Cedar Rapids.
It is important to note that the rich “Czechoslovak” culture of the area is filled with many stories of athletic excellence and connections to the Olympics. The event will be held at the NCSML in WFLA Hall.