Pride and joy on winning Olympic Gold
Katerina Tepla is one of the Czech Republic's foremost athletes. At the winter Paralympics in Nagano four years ago, the 29-year-old downhill skier came home with no less than four medals, three gold and one silver, and became a household name overnight.
Katerina Tepla is one of the Czech Republic's foremost athletes. At the winter Paralympics in Nagano four years ago, the 29-year-old downhill skier came home with no less than four medals, three gold and one silver, and became a household name overnight. As well as flying the flag for her country she proved that severe visual impairment need not be a barrier to reaching the peak of sporting achievement. She went to Salt Lake City Olympics this year knowing that she faced tough competition and high expectations. After winning silver in the downhill, she focused on her favourite discipline, the Super Giant Slalom. Here she talks about the nail-biting minutes after completing the course.
"Although the race was not perfect and I made some little mistakes, and also my guide made some mistakes, we were satisfied with the finish. We had to wait till the end of the race because I had a low starting number and my best rivals were starting at the end of the race field. So I had to wait for about ten minutes, and I was nervous and I didn't know if it would be enough or not. And then I realized that I really was the winner. It was a very nice feeling and we were happy - my guide and I - and we even had tears in our eyes, and then all the rivals who are actually my friends came to congratulate us, and all the journalists came to ask questions. It's always a very special atmosphere in the finish area at big races, especially if you win some medal, because suddenly you feel like a big star. Everybody wants to speak to you and everybody wants to take pictures of you. Then we waited till the whole race was over and we went to the medals ceremony to get our medals, and it was very nice also. I took the Czech flag to the podium and we listened to the Czech anthem and it's always so nice to hear the anthem in a foreign country."