Every year, March 8 is a day dedicated to women. They are wonderful, exceptional and without them, none of us would be here. Today, we will introduce you to eight Czech women known to the entire world, who have diligently worked their way up to the top of their field.
Read more about them here!
Martina is considered one of the best tennis players of all time. Between 1978 and 1987, she was the world leader in singles. She started out as a player representing Czechoslovakia, later representing the USA. She was born in Prague (* 18 October 1956), where she also began playing tennis and training.
In 1975, after the US Open, she applied for American citizenship and did not return to Czechoslovakia until after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s. In addition to working in the sports world, Martina is actively involved in public life in both the United States and the Czech Republic. She fights for the rights of minorities, specifically the LGBTQ + community, to which she herself subscribes, being an early supporter at a time when this movement was still considered as unconventional.
Eva is a Czech architect and designer who is active in London and Prague. The Evening Standard magazine ranked her among the 100 most influential women in London. She was born in Zlín (* 3 March 1939), but her home has been cosmopolitan London for more than 50 years. She functions in Czech and international juries of architectural competitions and, in addition to working in her own studio, she also lectures intensively all over the world.
Eva Jiřičná’s hallmark style can be seen in the interiors of the Dancing House, the Orangery and the Royal Garden at Prague Castle, the Josef and Maxmilian hotels and the interiors of St. Anne’s Church. In her native Zlín, she is the designer behind the University and Congress Centre of Tomáš Baťa University.
Madeleine was born in Prague (*15 May 1937) as Marie Jana Korbelová. Her father was a diplomat who managed to emigrate with his family to London before the outbreak of World War II. The Korbels were of Jewish descent and, thanks to emigration, avoided Nazi persecution. They returned to Czechoslovakia after the war, but after the communist coup they fled once again and settled in the United States.
There, Madeleine studied political science, got into high politics, became a US ambassador to the UN. From 1997 to 2001, she was the US Secretary of State as the first woman in history. In her memoirs, Madeleine recalls life in Czechoslovakia and her emigration.
Eva is a Czech model and actress living in London. She belongs to the generation of so-called supermodels who filled the pages of global magazines in the 80s and 90s. She was born in Litvínov, North Bohemia (* 10 March 1973) but established herself in Paris and New York. At one time, she was even called Marylin Monroe of the East. Today, Eva is no longer actively involved in modelling, but focuses on charitable activities and her family.
The most successful Czech tennis player is at home in Moravia, Fulnek and Prostějov (*8 March 1990), where she started playing tennis. Her biggest success are her victories at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. In 2011, Petra also won the WTA Finals, ranking her second place among the tennis elite.
She won bronze in singles at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, repeatedly won the Fed Cup with the Czech team and has almost thirty singles titles under her belt.
Ester is a native of Prague (* 23 March 1995), a Czech snowboarder and alpine skier who represents the Czech Republic at top level in several categories. You can meet her, for example, on the slopes of the Giant Mountains or on the ski slopes in Dolní Morava. She is only the second Olympian in history to win gold medals in two different disciplines, and the first woman to do so at the same Winter Olympics.
She is also the first Czech alpine skier to win Olympic gold and the first Olympian in history to compete in skiing and snowboarding. At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, she defended first place in the snowboarding parallel giant slalom.
Another woman that Czechs can be proud of is Markéta Irglová from the Moravian town of Valašské Meziříčí (*28 February 1988). She is one of the few Czech Oscar winners and the only Czech woman to turn the nomination into a gilded statue. She received the Academy Award in 2007 with Glen Hansard for the original song for the movie Once.
She had lived in Dublin since 2007, but today, you can meet her in Iceland, where she lives with her husband and children, singing and composing music.
We will close the list of famous Czech women with mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková, who was born near Chrudim (* 4 April 1961) in East Bohemia. She has been involved in the Prague National Theatre, the Dresden Semper Opera and the Berlin State Opera, and has performed on a number of other important world stages, from Stuttgart to Munich, San Francisco and Paris to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
She also performed to much success at the prestigious Prague Spring music show. This year, it will take place from 12 May to 3 June and will present the best that today’s classical music scene has to offer.
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