24th  – Fred Tate, English cricketer, who played in one Test in 1902, was born today in 1867. His single Test was the famous match at Old Trafford which England lost by 3 runs, and with it the series. Tate had the misfortune to drop a crucial swerving lofted pull off the left-handed Australian captain, Joe Darling, the bowler being the leg-spinner Len Braund. England lost their ninth wicket in their second innings with eight wanted for victory. Tate joined Wilfred Rhodes and edged his first ball for four, but the fourth ball he received from Saunders bowled him. The patch of turf on which Tate dropped the catch is now in the pavilion lawn at Whalley Range Cricket Club, after Old Trafford lifted its playing area in August 2008. His first-class career with Sussex lasted from 1887 to 1905. Bowling off-spin at a brisk pace, he took 1331 first-class wickets at 21.55, with best innings figures of 9-73. After his playing career ended, he became the coach at Derbyshire. One of Tate’s sons, Maurice, also played Test cricket. Another, Cecil Tate, played first-class cricket. After his cricket career, Tate ran a pub in Derby until 1937, he died in poverty in 1943. Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the English Channel died today in 1883, aged 35, while attempting to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls. Today in 1902 Victor Trumper scored a century for Australia before lunch in the 4th Test against England. In 1904 the 2nd Tour de France won by Henri Cornet of France. On this day in 1905 at the 5th Davis Cup the British Isles beats USA in Wimbledon (5-0). In 1908 Johnny Hayes won the 4th Olympic marathon and also became the first man to win a marathon at the now official standard distance of 26 miles 385 yards when Olympic officials lengthened the distance to put the finish line in front of the King of England’s box. His time 2:55:18.4 was a world record. The 15th Tour de France was won today in 1915 by Leon Scieur of Belgium. The first greyhound meeting with a mechanical hare took place at Belle Vue, Manchester, today in 1926. On this day in 1952 Emile Zatopek won the Olympic 5k in a record time of 14:06.6. French rock climber and mountaineer Catherine Destivelle was born today in 1960. In 1992 she became the first woman to complete a solo ascent of the Eiger’s north face. She completed the climb in winter in 17 hours. Her other notable climbs include the Bonatti Route on the north face of the Matterhorn and the southwest pillar of the Aiguille du Dru (the Bonatti Pillar). Destivelle has been the subject of several documentaries, including French director Rémy Tezier’s Beyond the Summits (Au-delà des cimes), which won the award for best feature-length mountain film at the 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Cuthbert Noyce, usually known as Wilfrid Noyce, English mountaineer and author.and a member of the 1953 British Expedition that made the first ascent of Mount Everest, died on this day in 1962.Noyce died in a mountaineering accident together with the 23-year-old Scot Robin Smith, after a successful ascent of Mount Garmo(6,595 m), in the Pamirs. On the descent, either Smith or Noyce slipped on a layer of soft snow over ice, pulling the other, and they both fell 4,000 feet. Amanda Stretton (née Cohn), English racing driver; broadcaster and motoring journalist was born in 1973, the daughter of British automobile collector and historic racer Terry Cohn. In 2001 she became the first ever female driver to compete in the ASCAR Mintex Cup where she finished in 6th place. In 2003, she entered the first ever female team in the British GT Championships, and was the first British female to race in the FIA Championships. In September 2004 she became the first British woman to win an international long distance event at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, beating her husband and in 2006, she competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Stretton was invited on to a television show to debate the proposal that “Women can’t drive or race”, and in light of her feisty and intellectual defence of women as drivers and her actual track record, was offered a position with Channel 4 to co-present their motorsports coverage under the title “Motorsport on 4” which included the British Formula 3, GT, MGF and Rally Championships, as well as the Anglo-American Stock Car Racing series and UK Supercross. Today in 1977 the 64th Tour de France was won by Bernard Thevenet of France. French tennis player Anne-Gaëlle Sidot was born in 1979 and turned professional in 1994. Her best Grand Slam singles performances were reaching the third round exactly once in each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. She won two WTA Tour doubles titles in Leipzig in 2000 and Nice in 2001, and was the runner-up in Los Angeles and Zürich in 2000. She also reached the quarterfinals of the 1999 Wimbledon women’s doubles with Kristie Boogertof the Netherlands. She represented her country in the Fed Cup in 1997. She retired from the WTA Tour circuit in 2002. In 1983 the 21st Tennis Fed Cup, Czech proved too strong for Germany in Zurich, winning the tie 2-1.  Also on this day in 1983 Lauren Howe won the LPGA Mayflower Golf Classic and the 70th Tour de France won by Laurent Fignon of France. Today in 1988 the 43rd US Women’s Open Golf Championship was won by Liselotte Neumann and the 75th Tour de France was won by Pedro Delgado of Spain. Mikaël Kingsbury, Canadian freestyle skier from Quebec, and one of the most accomplished moguls skiers of all-time was born in 1992 He achieved eminence early in his career after earning the 2009–10 FIS World Cup Rookie of the Year award. He is the six-time reigning FIS Freestyle World Cup title holder for both moguls and overall freestyle, owning the records for most men’s Moguls World Cup titles and Overall Freestyle World Cup titles. He also holds the record for career men’s World Cup moguls victories with 42, and consecutive Freestyle World Cup event wins with 7 (accomplished on 2 separate occasions). He is the only man to have won both the moguls and dual moguls World Championship events, and has won more medals at the Freestyle World Championships than any other man, having won a medal in 7 of the 8 events he has competed in. Kingsbury also won an Olympic silver medal in 2014. The 2005 and 92nd Tour de France was originally won by Lance Armstrong for a then record seventh consecutive title, but he was disqualified for doping in 2012.  Staying in France and Le Tour, today in 2016 the 103rd edition was won by Great Britain’s Chris Froome.

25th  – Edward “Ned” Cummins, American golfer was born today in 1886, he competed in the 1904 Olympics as part of the American team that won the gold medal. He finished 25th in this competition. In the individual competition, he finished 25th in the qualification and was eliminated in the first round of the match play.  French racing driver Georges Grignard was born in 1905 in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges. He raced in Formula One from 1947 to 1953, participating in one World Championship Grand Prix on 28 October 1951. He also participated in numerous non-Championship races, including winning the 1950 Paris Grand Prix.On this day in 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly across the English Channel in an airplane. In 1914 WG Grace scored 69* for Eltham against Grove Park in his last cricket match. He was 66 at the time. Lionel Terray, French climber who made many first ascents, including Makalu in the Himalaya, with Jean Couzy in1955 and Cerro Fitzroy in the Patagonian Andes, with Guido Magnone in 1952, was born on this day in 1921. A climbing guide and ski instructor, Terray was active in mountain combat against Germany during World War II. After the war, he became well known as one of the best Chamonix climbers and guides, noted for his speedy ascents of some of the most notorious climbs in the French, Italian, and Swiss Alps, the Walker Spur of the Grandes Jorasses, the south face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey, the north-east face of Piz Badile, and the north face of the Eiger. Terray, frequently with climbing partner Louis Lachenal, broke previous climbing speed records. Terray died on a rock climb in the Vercors, south of Grenoble, on 19 September 1965, several years after the publication of his climbing memoir, Conquistadors of the Useless. His grave is situated in Chamonix where a traffic circle is also named after him. Scotch Taylor, South African sportsman who played first-class cricket and hockey for Transvaal, and captained the Transvaal cricket team for four seasons was born in 1925. Taylor represented South Africa in one cricket Test in 1956. He was an alumnus of the King Edward VII School, set up a squash section in the Old Edwardians club, and was elected president of the South African Hockey Union. Taylor died of a stroke at the age of 78 in 2004. Dutch tennis player Carin Bakkum was born in 1962. During her career, Bakkum won two ITF singles titles as well as one WTA and 11 ITF doubles titles. She reached a singles ranking high of world number 141 on 27 March 1989 and on 22 June 1987 reached a doubles ranking high of world number 69. Julian Hodgson, British International Grandmaster and former British Champion of chess was born in 1963. He first came to the notice of the chess world for his phenomenal prowess as a junior, whilst at Hammersmith Chess Club in West London; he was London under-18 champion at 12 years of age and won the British Boys under-21 title aged just 14. International Master and Grandmaster titles followed in 1983 and 1988 respectively. Tournament successes, either shared or outright, included second place Lloyds Bank Open 1986: first place Benidorm 1986: first place Geneva Open 1988: second place Tel Aviv 1988: first place Kecskemét 1988 and first place Dos Hermanas 1989. At San Bernardino 1989, he finished first on tie-break, ahead of strong grandmasters Kiril Georgiev and Ivan Sokolov. A frequent visitor to Spain’s Seville Open, he shared first place in 1986 and 1988. At the Philadelphia World Open of 1990, he was runner-up behind Igor Glek. In domestic competition, Hodgson competed regularly at the British Chess Championship, winning the Champion’s title on four occasions (1991, 1992, 1999, and 2000). By 2000, he was so at home with the event that he even brought his own executive chair with him, wheeling it from board to board for maximum comfort. On those occasions that he did not play, his live commentary sessions and evening lectures were well received by amateurs and competing masters alike. In international team chess, he played for the English Olympiad team, winning the bronze team medal at Novi Sad 1990, and an individual silver medal at Manila 1992. The Manila success followed a notable win earlier in the year, at the colossal Open tournament held annually in Cappelle-la-Grande. In 1997 he won the Canadian Open Chess Championship, and was joint winner of the National Open in Las Vegas. At Oxford in 1998, he shared victory with Jonny Hector, ahead of John Nunn and Emil Sutovsky. In 2001, he was a joint winner of the Chicago Open with Alexander Goldin. Since 2003, he has not played competitive chess, instead teaching chess in schools. In 1965 the former world light-heavyweight boxing champion Freddie Mills was found shot dead in a car in Soho, London. A verdict of suicide was recorded but the circumstances in which he died has cast doubt in some minds as to the accuracy of this judgement. Today in 1966 Pelkey and Brian Schubert, two 26-year-old skydivers from Barstow, California, made the first BASE jumps from the top of the El Capitan mountain in Yosemite National Park. El Capitan is among the world’s tallest sheer monoliths, ascending more than 900m (3000 ft) straight up from Yosemite Valley. It is the second-highest unbroken cliff in the world, the highest being Mt. Thor on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Both came out with broken bones. BASE jumping has now been banned from El Cap. Stacey King (née Kemp) British competitive pairs-skater was born in 1988. With partner and now husband David King, she is an eight-time British national champion. Kemp began skating at age six, she teamed up with King in 2003 and the pair began appearing internationally in the 2004–05 season. After competing on the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) series, they placed 11th at the 2005 World Junior Championships in Kitchener, Ontario. The following season, Kemp/King moved up to the senior level. They placed 11th at the 2006 European Championships in Lyon, and 17th at the 2006 World Championships in Calgary. In January 2010, Kemp/King placed 13th in the short program, 10th in the free skate, and 11th overall at the European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia. In February, the pair represented the UK at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where they finished 16th after ranking 16th in both segments. Concluding their season, they placed 16th at the 2010 World Championships, held in March in Turin. They competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. During the team trophy, the pair placed tenth in their segment and the UK team had the same result. During the separate pairs’ event, Kemp/King placed 19th in the short program and did not advance to the free skate. On this day in 1992, the Olympic Games opened in the Spanish city of Barcelona with all countries present for the first time in modern history. It was the first Olympiad since 1972 that no country had boycotted the Games, and several long-standing bans have been lifted. A record 169 nations took part in the opening parade – a reflection of the extraordinary political changes the world has seen since the previous Olympic Games at Seoul in 1988. The opening ceremony began with the lighting of the Olympic Flame with a flaming arrow fired by paralympic archer Antonio Rebollo. The spectacle included a staging of the mythical birth of Barcelona from the sea, complete with ocean battles between sea monsters and humans. Opera stars performed including Placido Domingo and Jose Carerras, the crowd saved their loudest appreciation for Montserrat Caballe’s performance of the anthem of these Games – the song “Barcelona”, written by Queen singer Freddie Mercury who died from Aids in 1991. There were plenty of new flags in the opening ceremony parade. Latvia and Estonia made their first independent appearance since 1936 after breaking free of Soviet rule, while neighbouring Lithuania fielded its first national team since 1928.The collapse of the Soviet Union created a further 12 new countries, the former Soviet republics. They have chosen to compete as one team, to be known as the Unified Team, although at medals ceremonies the flags of individual republics were to be raised for winning athletes. Germany was competing as one country for the first time since 1964, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. South Africa also returned to the Olympics for the first time in 32 years after the end of apartheid. ANC leader Nelson Mandela, who did much to attain South Africa’s readmittance, was in Barcelona to see the first South African multiracial team parade at the opening ceremony. Other countries back on the Olympic stage after long absences include Cuba, North Korea and Ethiopia. The only last-minute controversy has been over Yugoslavia, the subject of United Nations sanctions. In the end, it was decided Yugoslav athletes could compete as “independent Olympic participants”. Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina had their own national teams. Vernon Forrest, American professional boxer, four-time, two-weight world champion, winner of the IBF welterweight title in 2001 and the unified WBC Ring magazine and lineal welterweight titles from 2002 to 2003, the WBC super-welterweight title twice from 2007 to 2009  was murdered on this day in 2009 after he was robbed at a gas station in the Mechanicsville district of Atlanta, Georgia.

26th -The history of women’s cricket can be traced back to a report in The Reading Mercury on 26 July 1745 and a match that took place between the villages of Bramley and Hambledon near Guildford in Surrey. The Mercury reported: “The greatest cricket match that was played in this part of England was on Friday, the 26th of last month, on Gosden Common, near Guildford, between eleven maids of Bramley and eleven maids of Hambledon, all dressed in white. The Bramley maids had blue ribbons and the Hambledon maids red ribbons on their heads. The Bramley girls got 119 notches and the Hambledon girls 127. There was of bothe sexes the greatest number that ever was seen on such an occasion. The girls bowled, batted, ran and catches as well as most men could do in that game.” Ernst Hoppenberg, German swimmer and water polo player who competed in the late 19th century and early 20th century was born in 1878. He took part in the1900 Olympics in Paris and won two gold medals – 200m backstroke and 200m team race. He was also a member of the German water polo team but he did not participate in the only match for Germany in the 1900 tournament. He died in a traffic accident in 1937. Indian cricketer Gulabrai Ramchand was born in 1927. He played for the national team in 33 Test matches between 1952 and 1960. In his only series as captain, he led India to its first win against Australia. According to Wisden Asia, he was one of the first cricketers to have endorsed commercial brands. Tsutomu Koyama, Japanese volleyball player was born on this day in 1936.He was a member of the Men’s National Volleyball Team that claimed the bronze medal at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.  He later served as the Head Coach of the Men’s National Team. Freddie Mills beat Gus Lesnevich on points over 15 rounds at London’s White City in 1948 to capture the world light-heavyweight title. He had lost to Lesnevich in his first attempt to take the title two years earlier. A gusty but unexceptional fighter, Mills retired from the ring after losing his title to American Joey Maxim, who knocked him out in the 10th round of their contest, Mill’s first defence, in January 1950. On this day in 1951 Walt Disney’s 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premiered in London. American tennis star Vytautas Gerulaitis was born in 1954. In 1975, Gerulaitis won the men’s doubles title at Wimbledon, partnering with Sandy Mayer. He won the men’s singles title at one of the two Australian Open tournaments held in 1977 (Gerulaitis won the tournament that was held in December, while Roscoe Tanner won the earlier January tournament). Gerulaitis also won two Italian Open titles, in 1977 and 1979, and the WCT Finals in Dallas, in 1978. Gerulaitis died on September 17, 1994, at the age of 40. While he was visiting a friend’s home in Southampton, Long Island, an improperly installed pool heater caused carbon monoxide gas to seep into the guesthouse where Gerulaitis was sleeping, causing his death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Gerulaitis failed to show up for a dinner. that evening and his body was found the following day by a maid who went to the guesthouse. American figure skater, 1976 Olympic and world champion. Dorothy Hamill was born on this day in 1956. In 1966 Tony Brown of Gloucestershire equally Mickey Stewart’s first-class cricket record of an outfielder taking seven catches in an innings, against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Carys Davina “Tanni” Grey-Thompson was born today in 1969. A British former wheelchair racer, a parliamentarian and television presenter. She has also been the Chancellor of Northumbria University since July 2015. Grey-Thompson was born with spina bifida and is one of the most successful disabled athletes in the UK. She graduated from Loughborough University in 1991 with a BA Hons degree in Politics and Social Administration. Grey-Thompson’s Paralympic career started in the 100m at the Junior National Games for Wales in 1984. Her international career began in 1988 in Seoul, where she won a bronze medal in the 400m. As a young athlete she also competed in wheelchair basketball. Her fifth and last Paralympic Games were in Athens (2004) where she won two gold medals in wheelchair racing in the 100m and 400m. In total in her Paralympic career she won 16 medals (11 gold, four silver and a bronze) and also 13 World Championship medals (six gold, five silver and two bronze). On 27 February 2007 Grey-Thompson announced her pending retirement, with her last appearance for Great Britain at May’s Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. Over her career she won a total of 16 Paralympic medals, including 11 golds, held over 30 world records and won the London Marathon six times between 1992 and 2002. Muhammad Ali won his first title since returning to boxing after his enforced lay-off, beating Jimmy Ellis for the North American heavyweight title in 1971.Tanja Szewczenko, German figure skater turned actress was born in 1977.She is the 1994 World bronze medallist,1997 Champions Series Final silver medallist, 1998 European bronze medallist, and 1993 World Junior bronze medallist. Kyriakos Ioannou, Cypriot high jumper was born on this day in 1984, a three-time world championships medallist (Osaka 2007, Valencia 2008 & Berlin 2009), he is the only medallist for Cyprus since the creation of the Championships in 1983. He’s also the Cypriot record holder, both outdoors (2.35m) and indoor (2.32m). Ioannou took the gold medal at 2005 and 2009 Mediterranean Games. In 1987 Stephen Roche became the first Irishman to win the Tour de France and only the second winner at the time from outside continental Europe, the first was America’s Greg LeMond in 1986. Olivia “Livvy” Breen, British Paralympian athlete, who competes mainly in T38 sprint and F38  long jump events was born in 1996. In 2012, she qualified for the 2012 Paralympics, selected for the T38 100m and 200m sprint and is also part of the T35-38 women’s relay team. In 2014, she represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games. Canadian ice-hockey player Jean Gilles Marotte died today in 2005. Born in Montreal, Marotte played junior hockey for the Victoriaville Bruins before joining the Niagara Falls Flyers of the Ontario Hockey Association in 1963. He was a first-team all-star on the Flyers team that won the 1965 Memorial Cup. Both of his junior teams were affiliated with the Boston Bruins, and Marotte began his NHL career with the Bruins in 1965. In May 1967, he was part of one of the biggest trades in Bruins history as one of three players sent to Chicago in the deal where Boston acquired Phil Esposito. Marotte spent most of the next three seasons with the Black Hawks before being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in February 1970. While with the Kings in January 1971, Marotte broke rookie Darryl Sittler’s wrist with a cross-check, giving him the most serious injury of his career. Marotte represented the Kings at the 1973 National Hockey League All-Star Game and scored a career-high 45 points that year. The next season, he was sent to the New York Rangers in the trade where the Kings acquired their future captain and coach, Mike Murphy. Marotte played in New York for three years. At the beginning of the 1976–77 season, Marotte was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Blues, and spent time in the minor leagues for the only time in his career, playing for the Kansas City Blues in the Central Hockey League. The next season, Marotte jumped to the World Hockey Association to join the Cincinnati Stingers. He was traded mid-season to the Indianapolis Racers and finished his career there in 1978, retiring at the age of 33. Over his 13 seasons as a professional, Marotte appeared in 808 NHL games and 73 WHA games.


27th – George Seymour Lyon, Canadian golfer, was born on this day in 1858. An Olympic gold medallist, an eight-time Canadian Amateur Championship winner, and a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Although he began playing golf at the age of 38, he won the gold medal in golf in the 1904 Summer Olympics St. Louis, Missouri. He won the Canadian Amateur Championship a record eight times between 1898 and 1914, and won the Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association Championship ten times between 1918 and 1930. Lyon lost in the finals of the 1906 U.S. Amateur Championship, and in the semi-finals of the 1908 British Amateur Championship, when in his 50th year. He travelled to London in 1908 to defend his Olympic title, but plans to stage a golf tournament there were cancelled at the last minute, since representatives from England and Scotland were unable to agree on the format. Golf did not return to the Olympics until 2016. Lyon was also a founding member, with Albert Austin, of the Lambton Golf and Country Club in Toronto. It was officially opened on June 13, 1903. Armas Rudolf Taipale was born on this day in 1890. A Finnish athlete, he competed at the 1912 Olympics and won gold medals in two discus events, conventional and two-handed, where the total was counted as a sum of best throws with a left hand and with a right hand. After World War I he won a silver medal in the conventional discus at the 1920 Olympics and finished tenth in the shot put. At the 1924 Olympics he competed only in the discus throw and finished in 12th place. Taipale set two unofficial world records in the discus. Domestically Taipale started competing in 1908 and won three Finnish titles in the discus and two in the shot put. In 1914 he was British champion both in the shot put and discus throw. Besides athletics he competed in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Nordic Games and played association football. In 1923 he immigrated to the United States, but returned to Finland in 1974. He was a businessman and lawyer by occupation. On this day in 1909 Orville Wright set a world record for staying aloft in an airplane – 1 hour 12minutes and 40 seconds he remained in the air. British footballer Billy Jonas was killed in action during the Battle of the Somme today in 1916 at the age of 26. Starting his career with Jarrow Croft, Jonas scored twice in a Gateshead Charity Cup Final and turned down an offer from Barnsley before moving to Havanna Rovers in 1910. Jonas was known for his quickness and passing ability on the pitch. He once filled in as goal-keeper for an injured Jimmy Hugall in a match versus Nottingham Forest. He scored 68 goals in his two seasons with Havanna, and moved to Clapton Orient in June 1912 on advice from his friend and fellow Orient player Richard McFadden. At Orient, Jonas could play in almost any position, making several appearances in goal. He was sent off during a match at Millwall in January 1915 for fighting with the home goalkeeper Joseph Orme, an incident which started a riot among the 16,900 crowd that had to be quelled by police on horseback. Jonas was very popular with the female supporters at Clapton Orient – so much so that he was getting a bags of fan mail from the ladies by the week. Things got so bad that he had to put an official request in the Orient programme for the letters to cease as he was “very happily married to his dear wife Mary Jane”. At the outbreak of World War I professional football was suspended and Jonas joined the 17th Middlesex Regiment, the “Footballers’ Battalion”. During the Battle of the Somme Jonas became trapped in a trench with his Orient team-mate McFadden while fighting at Delville Wood. Under heavy fire, he said goodbye to McFadden, jumped out of the trench and was killed instantly. Having no known grave at the war’s end, he was commemorated on the Commonwealth Thiepval Memorial. On this day in 1940 the animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny. Australian cricket captain Allan Border was born in 1955. He played 156 Test matches in his career, a record until it was passed by fellow Australian Steve Waugh. Border still retains the world record for the number of consecutive Test appearances of 153 and is second on the list of number of Tests as captain. He was primarily a left-hand batsman but also achieved sporadic success as a part-time left arm orthodox spinner. Border amassed 11,174 Test runs (a world record until it was passed by Brian Lara in 2005). He hit 27 centuries in his Test career. He retired as Australia’s most capped player and leading run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs. His Australian record for Test Match runs stood for 15 years before Ricky Ponting overtook him during the Third Ashes Test against England in July 2009. Border was one of the 55 inaugural inductees of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, Allan Border was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for his role as a “sports legend”. Christopher Dean, one half of the successful British Ice-dance partnership, was born in 1958. The former Nottinghamshire policeman teamed up with Jayne Torvill. By 1980 Torvill and Dean had progressed to not only become British National Dance Champions but were in medal contention in international competitions as well. It was then that Chris realised he could no longer balance his skating and police careers, and he resigned from the police force. Torvill soon left her job as well. Dean also served as the chief choreographer for the Torvill and Dean team. Torvill and Dean’s free program at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, performed to the music of Maurice Ravel’s Boléro, became world-famous. They received nine 6.0 marks for artistic impression, (three more for technical merit for a total of twelve 6.0 marks) the highest possible score and the only time ever that an all-perfect score was achieved. It was one of the most popular achievements in the history of British sport, watched by a British television audience of 24 million people. Torvill and Dean turned professional after their 1984 Olympic win. Under then existing Olympic Games rules as professionals they became ineligible to participate in Olympic competition. In 1993 the International Skating Union relaxed the rules for professional skaters, allowing the pair to participate in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer where they won a bronze medal. Torvill and Dean were admitted to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1989. In January 2012, Dean said he was open to working with the National Ice Skating Association to help British competitive skating. Torvill and Dean were ambassadors for the 2012 European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield. In February 2014, they visited Sarajevo for the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Olympics, and recreated their Bolero routine in the same arena where they won the gold. British tennis player Jo Durie was born today in 1960, a former singles World No. 5, during her career, she also reached No. 9 in the world in doubles, and won two Grand Slam titles, both in the mixed doubles with Jeremy Bates. Durie was the last British woman to reach the semi-final of a grand slam until Johanna Konta reached the semi-final of the 2016 Australian Open. Amerian basketball player Susan King Borchardt, was born as Susan King today in 1981. She was born in Minnesota and grew up in a family of collegiate basketball players. Her father, Gary King, played at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her brother, Stephen, played at Ohio University. From 1994 to 2000, she attended the Academy of Holy Angels, where she became the first and only 7th grader in school history to play on the varsity girls’ basketball team. From 2000 to 2005, she played the point guard position on the women’s team at Stanford University. After graduating with a degree in psychology, she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx during the 2005 WNBA Draft. She saw limited time with the Lynx, playing in only three games during the regular season before being waived by the team. Steve Cram set the then world mile record at 3:46:32 at Oslo in 1985. American ice hockey player Sarah Sturgis Parsons was born in 1987. She won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She is now a member of Dartmouth College’s class of 2010. Graham Gooch became the first Englishman since John Edrich to score a Test triple century when he scored 333 in the first innings against India at Lord’s in 1990.  In Australia’s win over England in Sydney in 1991 David Campese became the first man to score 40 tries in international rugby union. In the same match, Michael Lynagh became the first man to score 600 points at international level. Alan Shearer was transferred from Southampton to Blackburn Rovers in 1992 for a then record fee of £3.6million as part of their new manager, Kenny Dalglish’s plan to bring honours to the Lancashire club. Today in 1996 a bomb exploded at a crowded concert in Atlanta, Georgia, the city hosting the Olympic Games. Two people are reported to have been killed and firefighting officials say as many as 200 people may have been injured. The explosion happened at 0125 local time during a rock concert in the Centennial Olympic Park, known as the “town square” of the Olympics. The square was used as a meeting place and as a venue for entertainment of the crowds not actively watching sporting events. Security for the Games – already billed by the authorities as the largest peacetime security operation for a public event in American history – was stepped up with extra bag searches and regular sweeps for explosives. It seemed most visitors were determined the attack would not stop them enjoying the Games and events such as boxing, diving and track and field attracted healthy numbers of spectators the following day.  President Bill Clinton reacted defiantly saying the Olympic Games should carry on as planned to show the nation would not be cowed by acts of terrorism. In 2002 the largest air show disaster in history occurred when a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashed during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others.

28th – Today in 1866 Helen Beatrix Potter was born. The English natural scientists and conservationist is best known as an author and illustrator of children’s book featuring animals, her best-known book is The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Also on this day in 1866 American Olympic fencer Albertson Van Zo Post was born. He competed in the 1904 and 1912 Olympics, winning 1904 the gold medal in the singlestick and team foil competition, silver in individual foil and bronze in individual épée and individual sabre in 1904. Eight years later in Stockholm he reached the quarterfinals in individual foil, individual épée and individual sabre and did not advance from first round in the team épée competition. He also wrote two novels, Retz (1908) and Diana Ardway (1913). John DeWitt, American athlete and college football player, died on this day in 1930 aged 48. As a track and field athlete, DeWitt competed mainly in the hammer throw. He competed for the United States in the 1904 Olympics held in the hammer where he won the silver medals. He was also a prominent guard and kicker for the Princeton Tigers football team. Australian cricketer Johnny Martin was born today in 1931, he played in eight Tests from 1960 to 1967. Garfield Sobers, also known as Gary or Garry Sobers, former West Indian cricketer was born in Bridgetown, Barbados on this day in 1936.  Sobers made his first-class debut for the Barbados cricket team at the age of 16 in 1953, and his Test debut for the West Indies the following year. Originally playing mainly as a bowler, he was soon promoted up the batting order. Against Pakistan in 1958, Sobers scored his maiden Test century, progressing to 365* and establishing a new record for the highest individual score in an innings. His record was not broken until Brian Lara scored 375 in 1994. Sobers was made captain of the West Indies in 1965, a role which he would hold until 1972. He would also captain a Rest of the World XI during their 1970 tour of England. Overall, Sobers played 93 Tests for the West Indies, scoring 8032 runs at an average of 57.78, and taking 235 wickets at an average of 34.03. He has the fourth highest batting average in Test cricket in the list of cricketers with more than 5,000 runs. In his 383 first-class matches, he scored over 28,000 runs and took over 1000 wickets, having spent time with South Australia and Nottinghamshire towards the end of his career. Sobers was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975 for his services to cricket. He became a dual Barbadian-Australian citizen through marriage in 1980. By an act of Parliament in 1998, Sobers was named as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados. Soviet/Russian cross country skier Nikolay Zimyatov was born on this day in 1955. He was the first man in the sport to win three gold medals at a single Winter Olympics; 30km, 50km and 4×10km relay at the 1980 Lake Placid Games. In the 50km race he finished two and half minutes ahead of the second place.]He also won the 30km at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and was awarded Order of Friendship of Peoples that year. At the world championships Zimyatov won only one medal, a silver over 30km in 1978. Nationally he collected four Soviet titles: in the 3km and 4×10km relay in 1978, and in the 15 and 30km in 1979. After retiring from competition, he had a long career as a cross-country skiing coach and prepared the Russian team for the 2002 Olympics. The first person to walk to both North and South Poles Robert Swan, was born on this day in 1956. “In the Footsteps of Scott”, his first expedition, set sail on the Southern Quest on 3rd November 1984 to travel the 14,842 nautical miles (27,487km) to Antarctica. The expedition stopped over in Lyttelton, New Zealand to meet Bill Burton, who at 96 years old was the last surviving member of Scott’s expedition in 1912. Upon arrival on the frozen continent, Swan and his team spent the Antarctic winter at the ‘Jack Hayward’ base and then set out to walk 900 miles (1,400km) to the South Pole, arriving on 11th January 1986, after 70 days without the aid of any radio communications or back-up support and having hauled 350lb (160kg) sledges. Swan’s team had achieved the longest unassisted march ever made in history. Once at the pole, they received the bad news that their ship had been crushed by pack ice and had sun. There was much criticism of the adventure from the scientists working in Antarctica as time and money had to be spent in flying some of the party back out to New Zealand. However, Swan returned in 1987 with a ship to collect the rest of the team at ‘Jack Hayward’ base and to remove all traces of his expedition, i.e., rubbish and remaining stores. Three years later Swan assembled a team of eight people from seven nations for an attempt at the North Pole, the expedition was called “Icewalk“. Icewalk’s base camp held 22 representatives from 15 different nations. They produced a series of educational films there and facilitated the removal of rubbish from the surrounding Arctic wilderness. Swan and his team reached the North Pole on 14th May 1989. The team nearly drowned during their expedition due to the unseasonable melting of Arctic ice. Isabelle Brasseur, Canadian former competitive pair skater was born today in 1970. With partner Lloyd Eisler, she won two Olympic medals and the 1993 World Championships. Another Canadian skater, short-track speed skater Annie Perreau was born a year later in 1971. Among her many laurels she was the gold medallist at the 3000m relay at the 1992 Winter Games and won gold in the 500m at the 1998 Games as well as a bronze in the relay event. Laura Davies  became the first British winner of the US Women’s Open golf championship in 1987 beating JoAnne Carter and Ayoko Okamoto in a play-off at Plainfield, New Jersey. Dennis Andries beame the first British boxer to regain a world title twice in 1990 he beat Jeff Harding in a world ligh-heavyweight title fight at Melbourne.   Leonard JohnLennyMcLean also known as “The Guv’nor,” English Boxer, bouncer, criminal and prisoner, author, businessman, bodyguard, enforcer, weightlifter, television presenter and actor, who was referred to as “the hardest man in Britain”, died on this day in 1998 aged 49. McLean’s pugilist reputation began in the East End of London in the late 1960s and was sustained through to the mid-1980s. He has stated that he had been involved in up to 4000 fight contests. McLean claimed in his autobiography to have been well known in the criminal underworld. As a respected and feared figure, he often associated with such people as the Kray twins, Ronnie Biggs and Charles Bronson. He was also known in the London nightclub scene as a bouncer, where he often managed security. In his later life, McLean became an actor, performing his most acclaimed role of ‘Barry The Baptist’ in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 British gangster comedy film: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. During filming McLean was struck ill by what he believed to be flu, he was subsequently diagnosed with pleurisy, although further X-ray examination proved he was suffering from lung cancer which had metastasised to his brain. He died shortly afterwards, a few weeks prior to the release of the film. Director Guy Ritchie dedicated the film to him and had billboards for the film changed to feature McLean in tribute.


29th-The most famous bowls match in history took place on this day in 1588, or so legend has it. Sir Francis Drake was playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe when he received news that the Spanish Armada was off the coast of Cornwall. Stig Blomqvist, Swedish rally driver was born in 1946, who made his international breakthrough in 1971. Driving an Audi Quattro for the Audi factory team, Blomqvist won the World Rally Championship drivers’ title in 1984 and finished runner-up in 1985. He won his home event, the Swedish Rally, seven times. Outside the WRC, he won the British Rally Championship in 1983 and the Swedish Rally Championship several times. At the Race of Champions, Blomqvist took the title “Champion of Champions” in 1989 and 1990.  On this day in 1948, after a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, open in London. A distant member of the Fry’s chocolate family and racing driver Joe Fry died on this day in 1950. He became the primary driver for the highly successful Shelsley Special “Freikaiserwagen”, created by his cousin David Fry and Hugh Dunsterville, with help from Dick Caesar. The original car was built in Bristol in 1936 and featured an Anzani engine which was replaced in 1937 by a Blackburne engine. Joe set a number of hill records during the late 1930s including an unofficial outright record at Prescott when he climbed in 47.62 seconds in the 1,100 c.c. Freikaiserwagen, on 27 August 1938. At the outbreak of World War Two he held both the blown and unblown 1100 cc records at Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in 41.52 and 42.58 seconds respectively. Fry finished second in class, for racing cars up to 1100 cc, in the Freikaiserwagen at the Brighton Speed Trials in 1947.  He drove the car to a class victory at Brighton the following year recording a faster time. He won the class again at Brighton in 1949 reducing his time yet again. time was 31.13 seconds. At Bouley Bay Hill Climb, Jersey, on 21 July 1949, Fry finished first in class but overall a runner-up to Sydney Allard, at which point Fry led the British Hill Climb Championship. At the final round at Prescott he was just one point behind Sydney Allard, but he had mechanical problems and slumped to fourth overall behind Allard, Poore and Moss in the final standings. Fry was killed at the wheel of the Freikaiserwagen at the 1950 Blandford hill climb, less than two months after driving a Maserati 4CLin the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Raymond Mays said: “The death of Joe Fry, from injuries received while practicing for a Blandford hill-climb, was a great blow to me and to British motor sport in general. The 1986 World professional snooker champion Joe Johnson was born in 1952. Coen de Koning, the second Dutch speed skater to win a world title, in 1905, died on this day in 1954 aged 75. He finished second in 500m, and won the 1500, 5000 and 10,000m events De Koning won the national all-around title in 1903, 1905 and 1912, and set national records in the 500m and 10,000m in 1905; these records stood until 1926 and 1929. De Koning also set a world record in one-hour skating, at 32,370m in 1906, and won the Elfstedentocht  n 1912 and 1917. He came from a speed skating family, his brother Jacobus “Sjaak” Petrus de Koning won the national all-around title in 1914. His son Jacobus Petrus Coenradus de Koning (born 1907) competed at the 1942 national championships, and his cousin Aad de Koning took part in the 1948 Winter Olympics. His more distant relatives on the brother’s side, Truus Dijkstra and Jacques de Koning were also prominent Dutch speed skaters. Soviet gymnast Nellie Kim was born on this day in 1957. She won three gold medals and a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and two gold medals at the 1980 Olympics. She was the second woman in Olympic history to earn a perfect 10 score and the first woman to score it on the vault and on the floor exercise, rivalling Nadia Comăneci, Ludmilla Tourischeva, and other strong competitors of the 1970s. Nellie Kim worked for a long time as a coach, training several national teams, and judged many major international competitions. As President of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee, she coordinates the introduction of new rules in women’s gymnastics, as provided by the new Code of Points, developed by the FIG in 2004–2005 and in effect since 2006. Her gymnastic appearances are remembered for “her strong feminine, temperamental and charismatic appeal”. Long distance Belgium runner Vincent Rousseau was born on this day in 1962. He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics for his native country, starting in 1984. In 1993, he had his biggest success by winning the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Brussels, the next year followed by the first place in the Rotterdam Marathon. Twice (1985 and 1993) Rousseau was named Belgian Sportsman of the Year. He had much success at the Lotto Cross Cup (Belgium’s annual cross country running series) and was the overall season winner five times consecutively between 1983–88 and he earned a further three consecutive wins between 1990–93. Sally Gunnell, British 1992 Olympic gold 400m hurdles medallist was born in 1966. In storming to victory in Barcelona she became the first British female to win Olympic track gold since Ann Packer in 1964. Gunnell is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles, and is the only female 400m hurdler in history to have won the Olympic and World titles and broken the world record. She also worked as a television presenter, predominantly for the BBC until January 2006. She was made an MBE in 1993 and an OBE in 1998. German sprinter Andrea Philipp was born in 1971, a three-time Olympian, she won a bronze medal in the 200m at the 1999 World Championships (tied with Merlene Frazer), and a gold medal in the 100m at the 1990 World Junior Championships. In 1989 the Cuban high-jumper Javier Sotomayor became the first man to clear eight feet (2.44m), at St Juan, Porto Rico. Russian mountaineer Denis Urubko was born in 1973, in 2009, he became the 15th person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders and the 8th person to achieve the feat without the use of supplementary oxygen. In 2006, he won the Elbrus Speed Climbing competition which he did by setting a new speed record, climbing from Azau station to the summit in 3 hours, 55 minutes and 58 seconds (record beaten in 2010 by Andrzej Bargiel). This climb represents a vertical rise of almost 3,250 metres or more than 10,600 feet and thus a speed of more than 800 vertical metres (2,600 vertical feet) an hour. He summited almost 40 minutes ahead of the next finisher. He has also won the Khan Tengri Mountain Festival when he speed climbed the mountain from Base Camp at 4,200 metres to the summit at 7,010 metres and then back to Base Camp in 12 hours and 21 minutes, winning by over 3 hours. He is also a “Snow Leopard” having summited the five 7,000m peaks of the former USSR in only 42 days in 1999.  Karen Guzman, Bolivian swimmer who competed at the 2012 Olympics in the 100m freestyle and was the flag bearer for her nation, was born on this day in 1992. Munir Hussain died on this day in 2013 aged 83. A cricket commentator, administrator, and journalist from Pakistan who also played a first-class cricket match for Kalat in the 1969–70 season. He was the first to introduce Urdu commentary to cricket, and was the founder of the first Urdu cricket magazine, Akhbar-e-Watan. During the 1970s, Hussain commentated on the game for Pakistan Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan, and wrote weekly columns on cricket for the Daily Jang for many years. He received many accolades for his work for cricket. ESPNcricinfo writer Saad Shafqat described him as “a pioneering commentator, groundbreaking publisher, Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) mandarin, and sagacious elder presence in the nation’s cricket circles”. He also served as the president of the KCCA.


30th– The British novelist and poet Emily Bronte  was born on this day in 1818. On this day in 1859 the Grand Combin was conquered. The 14,154-foot-high mountain, part of the Pennine Alps located in Switzerland, is one of the highest peaks in the Alps and is a large glaciated massif (an uplifted piece of the Earth’s crust) which has several summits – three of them over 4000 meters (13,000 feet). The first to make an attempt to climb was Gottlieb Studer of Berne who reached the Combin de Corbassiere with the help of guild Joseph-Benjamin Felley on August 14, 1851. More attempts were made and the first four parties reached only minor summits. The first complete ascent was made by Charles Sainte-Claire Deville with Daniel, Emmanuel and Gaspard Balleys, and Basile Dorsaz. The first world title fight under Queensbury Rules took place at Staten Island in 1884, Jack ‘Nonpareil’ Dempsey beating George Fulljames by a knockout in the 22nd round to win the world middleweight title. Pete Schoening, American mountaineer, was born today in 1927. He was one of two Americans to first successfully climb the Pakistani peak Gasherbrum I in 1958, and was one of the first to summit Mount Vinson in Antarctica in 1966. He dropped out of school to serve in the US Navy in the last year of the Second World War. Later, he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington, where he became involved in mountain climbing. Schoening is perhaps best remembered for his heroics during “The Belay” while part of the American K2 expedition in 1953. He single-handedly averted the loss of the entire expedition when he used an ice axe to set and hold a line saving five of the team who had slid off the mountain and dangled thousands of feet in the air. In 1996 at age 68, he went to Everest together with his nephew, Klev Schoening. He stopped his ascent well short of the summit, at Camp Three, after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.  The first football World Cup came to a close in 1930 with the host nation, Uruguay, beating neighbours Argentina 4-2 in the Centenary Stadium, Montevideo. South African cricketer Alan Kourie was born on this day in 1951, he played for Transvaal, from 1970/71 to 1988/89. An all-rounder, he was a slow left-arm orthodox bowler and right-handed batsman. Kourie played a 127 first class matches, taking 421 wickets at an average of 23.44. He also scored 4470 runs, including 5 centuries, at an average of 34.38. In Currie Cup cricket, he played 107 matches, taking 378 wickets at 22.12 apiece, scoring 3962 runs at an average of 37.02. Kourie played for South Africa in 16 unofficial “Tests” and was player of the year in 1980. He also received a special tribute in the S.A. Cricket Annual in 1987.  Decathlete Daley Thompson was born in 1958. Winner of the Olympic gold medal in 1980 and 1984. He also won Commonwealth, European and World titles. England won football’s World Cup for the first time since the tournament began in 1930 today in 1966. A crowd of 93,000 spectators – including the Queen and Prince Phillip – filled London’s Wembley Stadium to watch the host nation play West Germany in the final game of the 1966 championships. Another 400 million people around the world watched the keenly fought match on television. In the final moments of extra time Geoff Hurst powered home his third goal to give England a 4-2 victory and to become the first man ever to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. After Germany had taken an early lead, Hurst levelled the score for England by half time with a header from a free kick taken by captain Bobby Moore. England came out with courage and determination after the break and glimpsed glory thirteen minutes from time as Martin Peters took their second goal. But a free kick to Germany 15 seconds from full time gave Wolfgang Weber a close-range shot into Gordon Banks’ goal and took the score to 2-2. In the crucial minutes before the decisive half hour of extra time England manager Alf Ramsey was heard to rally his team, saying: “All right. You let it slip. Now start again.” A dubious goal by Hurst – glanced off the line by Weber and only given after consultation between the Swiss referee and Soviet linesman – put England ahead in the last 15 minutes, before the striker’s third goal put the game out of Germany’s reach. Bobby Moore went up to the royal box to collect the solid gold Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen. In the largest World Cup to date – numbering 70 countries – England were among the favourites and got as far as the semi-final, against newcomers Portugal, before conceding a goal. In the second innings against India at Lord’s in 1990, Graham Gooch made 123 runs to add to his first innings of 333, at match aggregate of 456 runs and a then record in Test cricket. The match was also the first in which a batsman scored a triple century and a century. The total of 1603 runs the match yielded was at the time the second highest ever scored in Test cricket in England. Hannah Cockroft, British wheelchair racer was born today in 1992, who specialises in sprint distances in the T34 classification. She holds the Paralympic and world records for the 100m, 200m and400m in her classification. Competing for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she won two gold medals. Today in 2003 a mariachi band serenaded the last old style Volkswagen Beetle as it rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. After 65 years in production and 21,529,464 cars later, the old Bug was dead. The Volkswagen Type 1, also known as the Beetle or Bug, was a German economy car built from 1938, while the public called them by their familiar names, Volkswagen itself did not until 1967. Early versions were called 1200, 1300, and 1500 which referred to the size of the engines in cubic centimetres. Drawbacks to the little car were its styling or lack thereof, weak power, rough ride, and high noise levels. Regardless, it remained on the market for one of the longest periods of manufacture and is one of the most recognizable vehicles ever built. Designs were first submitted in 1925 and modified over the years. In 1933, Hitler met with Richard Whittle and Ferdinand Porsche and asked them to develop a low-priced Volks-Wagen or People’s Car. It was to hold 2 adults and 3 children, have a top speed of 62 mph and not cost more than 990 Reichsmarks (about 31 weeks pay), the prototype appeared in 1935 with an air-cooled, rear-mounted engine. On this day in 2006 the world’s longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years. Alena “Ája” Vrzáňová, Czech figure skater died on this day in 2015 at the age of 84. Vrzáňová started sport at the age of three when her parents bought her skis. They spent each winter in the Krkonoše mountains. After this tradition was interrupted during World War II, Vrzáňová started figure skating. The training conditions were difficult, as she had to skate in early winter mornings. Her training sessions were held in darkness because of the dim-out regulations. She skated at the open Štvanice Stadium before the sessions for hockey players, or at the CLTK club tennis courts, which were flooded with water and frozen. In 1946, Vrzáňová became the Czechoslovak junior national champion. In early 1947, she moved to Richmond, London to be coached by Arnold Gerschwiler. In 1947, she won the Czechoslovak national championships and placed 7th at the 1947 World Figure Skating Championships. Vrzáňová represented Czechoslovakia at the 1948 Winter Olympics. She placed fifth in the event, finishing fifth behind compatriot Jiřina Nekolová. In 1949, Vrzáňová was awarded the silver medal at the European Championships in Milan and won her first World title in Paris. She seized her chance to win the gold medal as the Olympic runner-up and reigning European champion Eva Pawlik of Austria had dropped out because of a broken boot heel just before the free programme. At the event, she was credited as being the first woman to land a double Lutz jump. After winning the 1950 European Championships, she won a second world title at the 1950 World Championships. She then went on a European tour instead of returning home. She eventually moved to the United States and performed for the traveling show Ice Follies for three years under the name “Aja Zanova” before joining the Ice Capades. She also participated in television ads and other shows. After her husband’s death, she worked for the Ice Capades and led New York City’s largest public ice rink, the Wollman Rink. Vrzáňová was inducted into the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2009, she also received the title of the Sports Legend of the Czech Republic. In 2012, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg presented to her the 16th annual Gratias Agit Awards in recognition of those who promote the good name of the Czech Republic abroad.