1968 Olympic champion ski-jumper Jiří Raška dies

Jiří Raška, the 1968 Olympic ski jumping champion who was named the best Czech skier of the 20th century, died on Friday at the age of 70. The news was confirmed by his family but the cause of death was not given. Jiří Raška became the first Czech to win gold at the Winter Olympics when he won off the middle hill in Grenoble, France. He also won a silver medal at the same Olympics on the large hill. In 1969, Raška set the world record in ski jumping at 164 meters at the flying hill in Planica, then Yugoslavia. He also won the prestigious Four Hill Tour in 1971. After his retirement in 1976, he coached the Czech national team.

In October, the Czech skiing legend he was awarded a top state decoration, the Medal of Merit, by President Václav Klaus. He was known to suffer from heart problems and underwent triple bypass surgery.