Sports News

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By Ian Willoughby

With just four days to go now till the start of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City the Czech Olympic Committee has announced that freestyle aerial skier Ales Valenta is to carry the Czech flag at the opening ceremony. The 28-year-old Valenta, who narrowly missed out on the bronze at the 1998 Winter Olympics, is one of the Czech Republic's medal hopefuls.

Of course Radio Prague will keep you up to date on all the Winter Olympics news. That means ice hockey and skiing of course, but also such sports as speed skating and luge - both of which the Czechs haven't taken part in for eight years - and skeleton, which the Czech Republic is participating in for the first time ever. And - if you're wondering - luge is basically sledging on your back. The wonderfully-named skeleton is sledging on your front, head first. Not for the faint hearted - or the soft-headed.

Meanwhile the Czech ice hockey captain Jaromir Jagr says the key player for the Czechs will be goaltender Dominik Hasek. Asked whether Hasek was capable of repeating his remarakable performance in Nagano Jagr's answer was simple - if he can do it once he can do it again.