Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská, whose seven gold medals make her the country’s most-decorated Olympic athlete, has died aged 74 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Čáslavská is the most decorated Czech gymnast in history and is one of only two female gymnasts, along with Soviet Larisa Latynina, to win the all-around gold medal at two consecutive Olympics. She was also the 1966 all-around World Champion and the 1965 and 1967 all-around European Champion.

Čáslavská scored two perfect scores of 10 in event finals at the 1967 European Championships

Čáslavská was a vocal critic of the Soviet Union’s 1968 invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia and did not compete in the Olympics after that year’s Games after refusing to withdraw her signature on the “Manifesto of 2000 Words”, which rejected Soviet involvement in the country.

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Dave Patterson is a content marketer. A writer by day and a reader by night. Coffee addict.