Final Word from Friday, October 29, 2010

Missing in spirit from the list of national heroes awarded a medal of honor last night was seven-time Great Pardubice Steeplechase winner Josef Váňa. He already received his presidential award last year, but he hasn't been resting on his laurels since then. He won the Great Pardubice again this year, at the impressive age of 57, although many people are still grumbling that he didn't deserve it. On the home stretch, he quickly moved toward the fence, causing challenger Marek Stromský to fall back and to approach from the other side. Still, Stromský lost by only a fraction of a second. What many people can't understand is why Váňa was fined Kč 500 if he left enough room. Surely any violation was enough to decide the outcome. In many countries, Váňa would be a hero for admitting his mistake and returning his prize. In the CR, sad to say, he's a hero to many for keeping something he didn't deserve.[Czech Republic Velká pardubická Tiumen Amant Gris]

Glossary of difficult words

to rest on one's laurels - to be so satisfied with what one has already achieved that one makes no further effort;

to grumble - to complain or protest about something in a bad-tempered but typically muted or soft way;

home stretch - the concluding straight part of a racecourse;

to fall back - to move or turn back; to retreat;

sad to say - unfortunately, regrettably.


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