About Spartakiada

Spartakiads were mass physical-exercise events taking place in former Czechoslovakia. They were arranged by the Communist government as a replacement of the Sokol gatherings disapproved by the regime. All Spartakiads took place at the Strahov Stadium, the same place as the last pre-war Sokol gathering. The first Spartakiad was held on 23rd of June in 1955 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's liberation by the Red Army. After that, they were organized every five years until the overthrow of the Communist regime.

The so-called Velvet Revolution interrupted preparations for the Spartakiad in 1990. In 1990 it still took place, but on a smaller scale than was usual by the time. In Prague, for example, the event has been moved to Eugene Rosicky stadium, it did not work in all categories and took place in the absence of Slovak gymnasts. Spartakiads were always held in a grand style, for example in the second spartakiad in 1960 in Strahov, over 750,000 trainees directly participated there, and more than 2 million viewers attended it. The show alternated each group practiced by many people, who were divided into a large number of categories. For example, parents with children, younger students, older students, younger girls, older girls, boys, juniors, women and men. And also well-trained soldiers, who were rehearsing performances within their compulsory military service.

The title Spartakiáda was coined by Jiří František Chaloupecký in 1921 for FDTJ (Sports Unions Workers' Federation) performances, held in 1921 in Prague Na Maninách. He was inspired by the name of Roman slave rebellion leader – Spartacus.