Czech firefighters rescue 40 passengers stranded on Jeseníky ski lift

Plus: Czech unemployment rate rises to 3.7% in January, husband-and-wife curling team falls out of Olympic medal consideration, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.02.2022 11:44:00 (updated on 06.02.2022) Reading time: 8 minutes

4:30 Firefighters rescue 40 passengers stranded on Jeseníky ski lift

Firefighters were called in to rescue about 40 passengers stranded on a ski lift at a resort in Přemyslov, near Šumperk, in the Jeseníky mountains on Sunday afternoon. No injuries were reported among the passengers. A total of 130 passengers were stranded on the ski lift, but the majority of them were able to get down by manually lowering the chairs to the ground.

"An evacuation is taking place, our units are cooperating with the mountain service," Lucie Balážová, a spokesperson for regional fire bridges, told local media. "We have six units at the location, and for preventive reasons there is also an ambulance." A technical malfunction resulted in the ski lift stopping mid-journey.

1:38 Czech President would have attended Beijing Olympics if healthy

While the Czech Republic has joined a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing, Czech President Miloš Zeman told CNN Prima News that he would have personally attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing on Friday if not for ongoing health concerns.

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Violation of human rights is not sufficient justification for boycotting the Olympic Games, Zeman told CNN. The United States and several European countries have joined a diplomatic boycott of the games, sending athletes but not government representatives. No member of the Czech Republic's government under Prime Minister Petr Fiala is attending the games.

Film Occupation named Best Film of 2021 by Czech Film Critics

Occupation, the directorial debut of Michal Nohejl, was named Best Czech Film of 2021 by Czech Film Critics at an awards ceremony broadcast from Prague's Archa Theatre on Saturday evening. The film examines tensions in Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion, telling the story of a Soviet soldier who attends a theatrical performance in the country.

Occupation was chosen by Czech Film Critics over Zátopek, a biography of Olympic athlete Emil Zátopek and the Czech Republic's official submission to the 2022 Academy Awards. Zátopek's David Ondříček won Best Director and lead actor Václav Neužil was named Best Actor. Pavla Gajdošíková was named Best Actress for her performance in the romantic drama Emma in Love (Chyby).

employment Czech unemployment rate up to 3.7% in January

The Czech unemployment rate rose to 3.7% last month, up from 3.5% at the end of 2021, according to early estimates from analysts polled by the Czech News Agency. The Czech Republic's unemployment typically rises in January due to weather conditions that prevent seasonal work. Official unemployment statistics will be published by the Czech Labor Office on Tuesday, February 8.

According to most analysts, labor conditions remain favorable in the Czech Republic heading into 2022. "Unemployment will always increase slightly at the beginning of the calendar year," says Akcenta's Miroslav Novák. "The domestic labor market situation remains positive, and continues to be characterized by higher number of open vacancies than unemployed people."

Weather Avalanche warning issued in Krkonoše mountains

A third-degree avalanche warning, indicting "significant" danger on an international scale of five, has been issued for the Czech Republic's Krkonoše mountains, which covers the popular ski resort Špindlerův Mlýn. The Krkonoše Mountain Service advises against hiking in the area due to the threat of avalanche.

A third degree avalanche warning is also in effect for the Polish side of the Krkonoše mountains on Sunday. Due to high winds in the area of up to 100 kilometers per hour, the cable car to the peak of the Sněžka mountain was not operating this morning. Meteorologists forecast high winds and up to 15 centimeters of snowfall in the mountain area throughout the day on Sunday.

Olympics Czech curling team falls out of competition after loss to Canada

The Czech husband-and-wife curling team of Zuzana and Tomáš Paul has fallen out of competition for a medal in the mixed doubles event at this year's Olympic Games in Beijing this morning following a loss to Canada. The loss leaves the Czech team, the first mixed doubles curling team from the Czech Republic to compete in the Olympics, with a 3-5 record after eight matches.

The Czech team had previously topped the United States, but are now seventh among ten teams in the standings and will not be able to advance to the semifinals, which begin later this week. The Pauls will end their Olympic run with a match against China on Monday. Italy is currently leading the mixed doubles curling competition with seven wins after seven matches.

Culture Hundreds of people visit rare opening of Czech writer's cottage

Hundreds of people visited a cottage formerly owned by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal in Kersko, in the Nymburk district of the Central Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, on Saturday. The cottage was opened to the public for the first time on the 25th anniversary of Hrabal's death. "We assumed that the interest would be great, but this surprised us," said Pavel Fojtík, a historian from the Bohumil Hrabal Museum in Nymburk that manages the property.

The cottage in Kersko was purchased by the Central Bohemian region from a private owner at the end of last year. While the region plans to turn the location into a museum honoring Hrabal, it has not yet been renovated since being obtained from its previous owners. Still, pieces of furniture and other items once owned by Hrabal could be seen at the location.

February 5, 2022

16:44 Warnings for high winds and snowfall issued for Sunday

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a warning for strong winds and snowfall through the day on Sunday. The warning for high is in effect on Sunday in mountainous areas of the Czech Republic, including northern Bohemia and Moravia, and eastern and southern Bohemia. In these areas, up to half a meter of new snowfall is expected during the day.

High winds are forecast for much of the country, including Prague, on Sunday; a separate warning for high winds applies to all of Bohemia, and selected regions in Moravia and Silesia during the day on Sunday. Wind gusts topping out at around 70 kilometers per hour are expected in selected areas of these regions.

Olympics Czech women's hockey team tops Sweden 3-1 in Beijing

The 2022 Olympics have only just begun, but the Czech Republic's women's hockey team have already scored two victories. Following a victory over China on Wednesday, the Czech team topped Sweden 3-1 this morning in Beijing. Forward Tereza Vanišová led the Czech team with two goals, and Klára Hymlárová scored once. This year marks the first time the Czech women's team has participated in the Olympic Games.

In other Olympic action this morning, Czech speedskater Martina Sáblíková just missed out on a medal after finishing fourth in the 3000-meter competition. The Czech women's hockey team will next face off against Denmark on Monday and Japan on Tuesday; quarterfinals will take place from Thursday, February 10. The Czech men's hockey team will debut with a game against Denmark on Wednesday.

Hockey NHL to kick off 2022-2023 season in Czech Republic

The North American National Hockey League will open its next season with games played in the Czech Republic and Finland, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced during a press conference in Las Vegas before the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills event on Friday evening. Pre-season games will take place in Germany and Switzerland, while the first official games for the next NHL season will be held in the Czech Republic and Finland.

The games are part of the NHL Global Series, which was previously scheduled to come to the Czech Republic in 2020 before being scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. A location for the Czech games, and participating teams, has not been announced for 2022, but the 2020 games were scheduled to take place at Prague's O2 Arena. To date, the NHL has played a total of 28 official games outside of North America during the NHL Premiere (2007-2011) and NHL Global Series (2017-2019) events.

Military Czech Army makes a splash in new camouflage uniforms

The Czech Army shared a first look at their new MAD21 camouflage field uniforms on social media yesterday, but public reaction may not have gone as expected. Pictures of soldiers dressed in the camouflage uniforms, faced away from the camera with their hands hidden, gave off an unintended suggestion.

"You shouldn't post pictures of people urinating," commented one user on Twitter. ""Great, our soldiers will be able to pee more safely in both the forest and the city," wrote another. On Twitter, the Army responded that they had deliberately posed the soldiers to draw attention to the new uniforms. The Czech Army recently stirred controversy with a Christmas video featuring Santa Claus being shot out of the sky.

TV 770,000 Czechs tune in to Winter Olympics opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics broadcast on Czech Television was watched by 770,000 viewers, according to statistics provided by the station. The number represents twice as many viewers as the Summer Olympics held in Tokyo last year, and a total of 42.7% of all Czech households who were watching TV at 1:00 p.m. on Friday were tuned into the Olympic ceremony.

The record-high number of Czech viewers for an Olympic opening ceremony was 1.42 million, for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Czech Television is showing the Olympic Games this year as a non-exclusive broadcaster, meaning a limited number of hours of coverage. However, the station has dramatically increased their amount of coverage from 50 hours for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongyang to 240 hours of coverage this year.

Music Czech Philharmonic strikes deal with record label Pentatone

The Czech Philharmonic orchestra has struck a partnership deal with Pentatone, an international classical music label that will publish and distribute the the orchestra's recordings internationally. The first recording to be published will be Mahler's Symphony 4, recorded by the orchestra with chief conductor Semyon Bychkov and Israeli soprano Chen Reiss in 2020; it will be released in April.

"The Czech Philharmonic belongs to the world's most renowned and most recognized orchestras," Pentatone Vice-President Renaud Loranger stated in a press release. "Our new partnership rests not only in music alone, but also reflects our shared values. It is a pledge for us to present and celebrate the music heritage as expertly shaped for the present time by the family of Czech Philharmonic conductors with Semyon Bychkov and Jakub Hrůša at the head."

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