Morava, photo: Stepanka Budkova

Today in Mailbox: The Vancouver Olympics, the Baťa canal in South Moravia, the fourteen regions of the Czech Republic. Listeners quoted: Nobuya Kato, Alastair Pamphilon, Nashir Uddin.

Hello and welcome to Mailbox. Your e-mails never cease coming so let’s have a look at some of them:

Our listener in Japan Nobuya Kato is following the Vancouver Olympics:

Jaromír Jágr,  photo: CTK
“Whenever the Winter Olympic Games are held, I'm especially interested in ice hockey, and in 1998 when the Olympic Games were held in Nagano, I went to Nagano to see several ice hockey matches. I still remember the gold medal match, Czech Republic versus Russia, and the Czech team beat Russia to win the gold medal for the first time in history. (This is what I wrote in the writing competition in 2008 about Czech sports athletes.)

“I'm very pleased to know that hockey superstar Jaromír Jágr is still in the national team and taking part in the Olympic Games this time. I know he was playing in Nagano in 1998 and was the gold medal winner at that time. I saw him in Nagano 12 years ago! Of course I have a QSL card of Jágr's photo issued in 2008. Anyway, I sincerely hope all the Czech ice hockey players will do their best in the upcoming final tournament in Vancouver to attain the best result. At the same time, I also hope all of the other Czech athletes taking part in the Olympic Games will do their best until the day of the closing ceremony. I promise I will send you another reception report again soon.”

Thank you for your lovely message and we will be looking forward to your reception report. Listeners’ feedback regarding the quality and strength of Radio Prague’s signal in your area is especially welcome now as we are putting together the summer transmission schedule. Please, let us know what reception is like in your area – and as every year, there is a set of eight lovely QSL cards for you, this time featuring notable Czech authors.

Alastair Pamphilon from the UK has this question:

“How old is the Baťa Canal and what was the main cargo transported upon it plus when did the Baťa Canal open up for tourism?”

Baťa Canal,  photo: Štěpánka Budková
The so-called Baťa Canal is a waterway built between 1935 and 1938 by the Moravian industrialist Tomáš Baťa connecting the South Moravian towns of Otrokovice and Rohatec. It was used for the transportation of brown coal from the Baťa company mines to its own electricity plant in Otrokovice which powered the factories and supplied heat to the town. After WWII, the waterway was neglected but today it is again almost completely navigable, including 13 canal locks and many ports and landings on the fifty-two-kilometre route.

Nashir Uddin from Bangladesh would like to know:

“How many districts are there in your country?”

Historically, this country has been divided up in many different ways but currently it consists of 14 regions including the capital city Prague. Prague is also the capital of the Central Bohemian region. The remaining twelve regions are: South Bohemia with its capital city of České Budějovice; the Plzeň Region with the capital city of Plzeň; the spa town of Karlovy Vary is the capital of the eponymous region; the cities of Liberec, Ústí nad Labem, Hradec Králové, Pardubice, Zlín and Olomouc all have regions named after them. And finally there is the Vysočina region around the town of Jihlava, the Moravian-Silesian Region around Ostrava and the South-Moravian Region with the Czech Republic’s second largest city Brno.

Today is the deadline for your answers to our February competition so you still have a few hours left to send us the name of the 10th century Bohemian nobleman, priest, bishop and missionary who travelled around Europe and was killed while trying to spread Christianity in Prussia. He is the Patron saint of Bohemia but also Poland, Hungary and Prussia.

The address for your answers is [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099, Prague. Those are also the addresses for your reception reports, questions and comments.

In next week’s edition of Mailbox we will reveal the name of this mystery Czech and announce the name of a winner who will receive a small prize from Radio Prague for his or her correct answer. And of course, there will be a brand new question for next month. Until next Sunday, happy listening.