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Interview Czech Paddler Vavra Hradilek shopping during the Covid 19 Outbreak in Czech Republic. ©kayaksession.com

Published on mars 20th, 2020 | by Kayak Session https://www.kayaksession.com/img-current-issue/upload-your-video.png

Corona Diaries #2, Vavra Hradilek (Czech Republic)

Outside, rivers are starting to flow and spring is around the corner, the sun is shining high in some areas, yet around the world, many are grounded at home, and it seems likely others soon will be. Which, though difficult,  let’s repeat it, folks is THE THING TO DO! It is necessary and worth it!

So, we at Kayak Session decided to take the opportunity to catch up with our friends in the whitewater community and see how they are coping across the globe. Today we speak with Slalom legend Vavra Hradilek, who is stuck at home in Prague (Czech Republic), and who just returned from a trip to New Zealand with Olympic Trials in mind trying to secure a spot at the Tokyo Olympics which are as of now still scheduled.

« It is pretty sure that the Olympics are not going to happen in a normal way if they will ever happen this year. »

How zit Vavra, where are you and what is the situation like where you are? 

VH: Hey bro, I am at home in Prague. It has been pretty crazy last few days here. Since about two weeks ago when we had first COVID-19 cases, day by day we faced more and more restrictions. At the moment there is nation wide quarantine and several cities with complete lockdown. We only can go to grocery shops in certain times. As for today we have had around 600 cases without any death events with also three cured patients in last few days. People are allowed to go for work and back home, which is making few of us ( about 20 people from whole Czech republic ) to be able to kayak everyday on the whitewater course in Prague. It is closed for public and no one else can use it than those who are employed by the club. Honestly it looks like crazy movie these days. If you not wearing face maskyou are minority and that is right.

« I am lucky to be able to train on the course everyday. »

Where did you travel from most recently? How has Covid-19 impacted your plans for the season?

VH: I got back from NZ& Australia, transiting through Dubai on the 1st of March. Just in time before the outbreak in CZ.  Covid – 19 has definetly impacted whole season already. So far all the national, international and olymoic federations are taking the steps towards making everything possible to have Olympics in Tokyo as planned. So far we have had our national Olympic trials cancelled same as European Championship in London which were suppose to be also our Olympic selections. It is pretty sure that the Olympics are not going to happen in normal way if they will ever happen this year.

We are expecting little baby girl in few weeks time, so this is great time to make things pimped at home to be ready to welcome little kayaking&biking&skiing girl ripper

How are you maintaining fitness and your sanity? Can you get any exercise or paddle at all where you are?

VH: I am lucky to be able to train on the course everyday. We do have to wear facemasks all the time and we are not training in the groups. I also do my daily home stretch routine. Since me and my girlfriend are living in relatively small apartment we try to go for little walks or bike rides everyday if we can and we do avoid people. For well being it is not recommended to get stuck inside all day long.

How do you spend most of your time?

VH: We are expecting little baby girl in few weeks time, so this is great time to make things pimped at home to be ready to welcome little kayaking&biking&skiing girl ripper and make her a good living space. So lots of home works. But also we read books, cook and drink beer.

DO NOT GET S(t)UCKED on social networks! Follow the rules which are in place. Listen to authorities and be responsible in current situation.

What are you watching right now? Any (kayak) porn recommendations? 

Honestly have not had time yet to watch anything. I am trying to talk to my
friends and family as much as I can through the phone to keep all of us
connected while we can not see each other. I will eventueally call you Toon as
well J

Any words of wisdom for your fellow paddlers across the world?

DO NOT GET S(t)UCKED on social networks! Follow the rules which are in place. Listen to authorities and be responsible in current situation. Protect those who are most vunerable and if you can be creative these days. Kayaking is gonna be always here and can wait, but sure if its flowing and it is safe to go with distance of your buddy kept, go for it and have fun! And yeah if you at home with your partner and locked up for few weeks, bear in your mind, that January is a fine month!…;-)
And you can always sew your own face mask to protect the others when you will wear it. It can look cool. 🙂 My mum does these now for the village people. (For the record the mask i wear on the main photo is what we brought to Australia when we went this winter to train in Penrith when the bush fires were raging. Luckily we have a few left).

Home-made masks sewn by Vavra’ mother. © Vavra Hradilek/ kayaksession.com

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