The talented bobsleigh player Patricia Tajcnárová became a new member of the Czech national team. The twenty-one-year-old athlete is originally from Slovakia, she resented the local union, which did not provide her with sufficient background. That’s why she decided to change her jersey in the summer. In an interview with TV Nova, the former footballer reveals her unique story and explains why she decided to represent the Czech Republic.
From her youth, Tajcnárová danced, skied and even played football as a goalkeeper for the FC Petržalka women’s team before going to the ice rink. Her great-uncle Rudolf Tajcnár was a successful Czechoslovak ice hockey player who won the world championship in 1972. Tajcnárová likes to say that ‘ice blood is inherited’. “Inside, I’m still a young, fragile girl, but on the outside I seem more like a manly force,” laughs the native of Stockholm, who moved to Slovakia when she was three years old, after her parents’ divorce.
However, she did not finish her promising career in soccer goal. “I had arguments with the coach. He constantly blamed me for zigzagging in the goal, even though I never scored a goal because of it. Then he stopped inviting me to the national team altogether and I lost my motivation,” describes Tajcnárová, who, as one of the few athletes, changed her soccer cleats to ice trough.
How did she get to the unexpected industry change? “I was approached by a former bobsledder. I weighed about 50 kilos, didn’t lift any weights, didn’t even know how to run properly. I had to learn a lot from the beginning. But luckily, I have a good coach who helps me non-stop.”We are on a good path, because already at the start I can compare myself with, for example, girls who were at the Olympics,” describes the 21-year-old likeable competitor.
She had a rough start in the more than 170-kilogram bobsleigh, but she didn’t give up and continues to pursue her dream. “After the first bobsleigh ride, I cried and blamed myself for what I had gotten myself into. I didn’t want to continue, but we were in Latvia, everything was already paid for, I couldn’t just say: ‘Bye, I’m going home.’ When the body got used to the overload and speed, it wasn’t so terrible anymore. I don’t even know how I fell in love with the sport,” smiles Tajcnárová.
She experienced a turbulent period after last season. In Slovakia, the union threw sticks under her feet. First, he demanded that she buy her own bob and bring in sponsors, and when the Secretary complied, they wanted her to waive all claims to rewards and royalties. “I couldn’t do that,” she says. And she made contact with Czech colors for the first time.
Sad conditions in Slovakia
“Last season, the Czech team was also on every trip and helped me a lot. It all happened by accident. A Czech coach saw me at the Junior World Championships in Winterberg. That’s when he asked me if I wanted to go to the Czech Republic, because he knew that I didn’t have an easy time in Slovakia,” describes Tajcnárová. “I didn’t think about it at the time, but sometime in April I found out that there was no future in Slovakia. Thank God I’m standing here and I can represent the Czech Republic,” he adds.
In the Czech Republic, Tajcnárová arranged a temporary stay and can represent in the European Cup races. “I have a family and a brother here. In the future, I want to get citizenship so that I can compete in the World Cup and also in the Olympic Games. I believe I have a lot to offer and I think the 2026 Olympics is achievable. Hopefully, as an athlete, they will grant me some kind of exception and I will get Czech citizenship soon,” believes the 21-year-old bobsledder.
The Czech Republic will thus have the first female pilot in the monobob in history, which is a discipline where the competitors push the bob by themselves, and then finish it all the way to the finish line. What should Tajcnárová do to her rivals? “I am quite tall and have long strides. Where I can do one, the other girls have to do two or three. I can gain a lot from it. I believe that I will continue to improve,” concludes the new Czech reinforcement in the ice trough.