Mailbox

Kvetoslav Svoboda, photo: CTK

In this week's edition: Czech Olympic team, Radio Prague QSL cards, drinking drivers. Listeners quoted: Mohammad Shamim, India; Lee Archer, USA; Ronald W. Dixon, Canada.

Kvetoslav Svoboda, photo: CTK
For the next couple of weeks the eyes of the world will be on the Greek capital, Athens, where the 28th Olympic Games are underway. Of course, many Radio Prague listeners are following the Olympics and Czech athletes who will be competing there.

For example, Mohammad Shamim from Keralam State, India, sent us these questions:

"How many members are in the Czech Olympic Team for the 2004 Olympics and who is the leader of the Czech Olympic Team for the opening ceremony?"

Well, there are altogether 139 athletes in the Czech team and the head of the Czech mission is Frantisek Dvorak. It was swimmer Kvetoslav Svoboda who carried the Czech flag at the opening ceremonies on Friday. Unfortunately, many of the Czech athletes were unable to take part in the opening ceremony as they had to train for Saturday's competitions.

Now onto a sad story which we broadcast some time ago. Mr. Ronald W. Dixon from British Columbia, Canada, sent us this email:

"I am writing with regard to the heart rending news story that I heard on Radio Prague on Wednesday, June 9th. This concerned the impaired driver who struck down a mother and her two-year-old daughter as they were crossing the grounds of one of Prague's hospitals. I would like to know if the little girl survived her critical, life threatening injuries. Does there exist, in the Czech Republic, a chapter of MADD or "Mothers Against Drinking Drivers"? What is the maximum period, under Czech law, that a convicted impaired driver will lose his or her license on his or her first offence?"

We're very happy to inform you that the little girl did survive and doctors said earlier this week that her life is no longer threatened. She had to undergo a number of complex operations, including skin grafts on a large part of her body. Doctors say that thanks to her young age, she's healing well, though some of the fractures aren't healing as well as they should. Also there are still a few operations little Lucie will have to undergo and she'll have to stay in hospital for a few months.

The doctor who struck her down was charged earlier this week with two criminal offences: grievous bodily harm and driving under the influence of an addictive substance. He faces up to five years in prison. On top of that he might lose his driver's licence for ten years and pay a fine. Both the parents of the little girl and his former employer, the Vinohrady Hospital in Prague, are considering suing Dr Karas.

As far as we could find out, the Canadian organisation "Mothers Against Drinking Drivers" does not have a chapter in the Czech Republic but there are a whole host of mothers' organisations concerned with road safety. For example, Prague Mothers, who not only campaign for safer streets for children and mothers with young children but are also concerned with the impact of traffic on the environment.

And finally, Lee Archer from South Carolina, USA has this question:

Jana Babiczova, photo: Zdenek Valis
"I have made many shortwave reception reports and have been rewarded with many QSL cards. They are all very nice and I have enjoyed collecting them, but I have noticed one thing. The handwriting is the same on all of them. I am curious as to who writes these QSL cards and would like to know more about the person who does this task. Thank you and I hope to hear from you!"

Well, the "mystery person" who deals with our listeners' reception reports is the English Section's assistant Jana Babiczova. Jana is responsible for sorting our mail and verifying your reception reports as well as sending out Radio Prague programme leaflets and the like. And it will be Jana who'll send a CD to the winner of this month's Radio Prague competition.


Our question for the month of August is:

"What is the name of the famous jazz composer who was born in Prague in 1948 to the family of a famous jazz singer and a jazz musician and left Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet invasion to make an outstanding music career in the United States?"

There is one clue I can give you: he also wrote the music to the US TV series Miami Vice.

Please send your answers to us by August 31st. Send them as usual to the Radio Prague English Section, 120 99 Prague 2, the Czech Republic or by e-mail to english@radio.cz