He was one of the most famous distance swimmers of the 1990s. Nevertheless, if you ask ordinary Czechs, they probably won’t know him. Michael Drozd died tragically at the age of 54. According to Blesk, his own bathroom became his fatal obstacle. One of the great legends of his sport is leaving.
He loved endurance swimming, he took part in the 1994 WC, 1993 and 1995 EC, but these competitions were not what attracted him the most. “These are greenhouse plants,” exaggerated Drozd, who also won the World Series of Distance Swimmers in 1997. “No temperature was too low for him and no race was too long, 80 km downstream of the Paraná River45 km in cold seas with five-meter waves off the Canadian shores,” adds only a short list of achievements, great friend and coaching colleague Jan Neverkla on his Facebook.
A paradoxical death
A fateful thing happened to Míšál, as his friends called him according to the information Flash tripping on the toiletE and a subsequent blow to the head that caused swelling on the brain. The irony of fate is sometimes too cruel. The swimmer, who felt in his element in the water, finally couldn’t handle the fight with his own bathroom. All this on top of that the day before Christmas Day.
The doctors held Drozd over a week in artificial sleep, before finishing his last race on Monday night. The race in Strakonice, in which he regularly participated, will be renamed in honor of the great athlete. So Drozd got at least a little satisfaction for his spectacular achievements.
A funny story is connected with the beginning of Drozd’s career, which is described by his friend Neverkla. Back then, he was just a recreational swimmer sitting with his friends and drinking by the Vranovská dam. “We sat by the fire long into the night, and when it dawned we saw that some kind of long-distance race was going on here. So we logged in for fun,“recalls a friend with a smile on his face and adds that it was immediately clear to everyone that Drozd would stay with swimming.
When he went to Argentina in the 1990s, he realized how good a name he had made in the world. “I recognized it in Buenos Aires, where I was looking for a swimming pool. As soon as I said I was Czech, they immediately knew who I was and what I had achieved. I was pleasantly surprised,” he described the great experience. When he went to the Paraná River in South America, 200,000 people cheered for him on the shore. All this illustrates what kind of personality he was and how he was perceived abroad.