From tennis to box. Get to know the contemporary Czech and Ukrainian athletes

Hobby, passion, or life’s fulfillment. Sport symbolizes something slightly different for everyone. Whether you go for a run every day or only venture out to ski once a year, sports are all around us. Which current athletes from Ukraine and the Czech Republic should you know to broaden your horizons?

There is a constant emergence of successful athletes from both countries. While Czechs excel in hockey and biathlon, Ukrainians thrive in gymnastics or boxing. Tennis and athletics have become common denominators, as evidenced by some of the current names on our list. Among the Czech sports legends, we need to mention gymnast Věra Čáslavská, hockey player Jaromír Jágr, football goalkeeper Petr Čech, or athletes Emil and Dana Zátopek. Indelibly written into Ukraine’s sports history are pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, gymnast Lilia Podkopayeva, footballer Andriy Shevchenko, and fighters Vladimir and Vitali Klitschko. Listing all the significant names of the present would be nearly impossible. Therefore, we offer you a list of five remarkable Czech and Ukrainian personalities whose names you should definitely know.

Current successful sportspersons from Ukraine:

Elina Svitolina

One of Ukraine’s brightest tennis stars has proven time and again that her prowess on the court is a force to be reckoned with. Born in Odessa, Elina’s journey from her early training days to the top echelons of the tennis world is a testament to her indomitable spirit and relentless pursuit of excellence. With her impeccable footwork, fierce baseline rallies, and a mental fortitude that often leaves her opponents astounded, Svitolina has carved out a niche for herself among the greats of the sport. Off the court, her gracious demeanor and commitment to charitable endeavors have made her an ambassador not just for tennis, but for Ukraine as a whole. As she continues to break records and inspire the next generation, Svitolina remains a symbol of what sheer determination can achieve.

Alex Len

A towering figure in both stature and talent. Alex Len has become one of Ukraine’s most celebrated exports to the world of professional basketball. Born in Antratsyt, Len’s journey to the NBA was fueled by an insatiable work ethic and an undeniable prowess on the court. Throughout his NBA tenure, Len has made significant contributions to several teams, including the Phoenix Suns, who drafted him fifth overall in 2013, followed by impactful stints with the Atlanta Hawks. He is currently playing for the Sacramento Kings. Len’s resilience and adaptability have solidified his reputation as a reliable center in the league. Representing Ukraine on the global basketball stage, Len continues to inspire budding athletes in his home country with his commitment to the game and his success against some of the world’s best talents.

Yulia Levchenko

She stands tall not just in her impressive height but in her monumental achievements in the high jump arena. As an Ukraine’s shining star in athletics, Yulia Levchenko has continually raised the bar, quite literally, in competitions around the globe. Her leaps and unwavering focus have seen her claim podium spots in several international tournaments, affirming her status among the world’s elite high jumpers. Born in Kyiv, Yuliia’s rise in the track and field community has been nothing short of inspiring. Her dedication to the sport resonates with fans and fellow athletes alike. As she continues to soar to new heights, Levchenko not only represents Ukraine’s rich sporting heritage but also paves the way for future generations aiming to leap beyond boundaries.

Oleksandr Usyk

The Ukrainian pugilist par excellence. Oleksandr Usyk has become one of the most respected Ukrainians boxers of all times. Hailing from Simferopol, Oleksandr’s ascendancy in the boxing world has been meteoric and he’s going to battle the one and only Tyson Fury in December. Usyk’s victory in the World Boxing Super Series, where he emerged as the undisputed cruiserweight champion, showcased his dominance. His subsequent foray into the heavyweight division further solidified his reputation as a versatile and formidable adversary. His innovative training methods have made him a favorite among both purists and casual fans. Oleksandr Usyk stands as a proud representative of Ukraine’s robust boxing legacy.

Olexandr Zinčenko

Born in Radomyshl, Zinchenko’s meteoric ascent in the footballing world has been marked by both tenacity and technical brilliance. While he began his professional career with FC Ufa in Russia, it was his move to Manchester City in the English Premier League that catapulted him to international stardom. Under the tutelage of legendary coach Pep Guardiola, Zinchenko has evolved into a versatile player, comfortable both in midfield and defensive roles. His sharp vision, coupled with an adept ability to read the game, has made him an invaluable asset to both his club and the Ukrainian national team. Off the pitch, his affable nature and commitment to community causes further endear him to fans across the globe. As Zinchenko continues to lace up his boots, he remains a beacon of Ukraine’s rich footballing tradition. He currently plays for the renowned Arsenal FC.

Current successful sportspersons from Czechia:

Ester Ledecká

A skiing prodigy hailing from Prague, has redefined versatility and excellence in the world of winter sports. Distinguished as the only person to achieve the unprecedented feat of winning gold medals in both snowboarding and alpine skiing at the same Winter Olympics. Ledecká’s triumph at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games sent shockwaves through the sporting community. Her talent was evident from a young age, but it’s her relentless pursuit of tenacity that has set her apart. Beyond the slopes, Ester’s down-to-earth demeanor has made her a beloved figure not just in her homeland but internationally.

Lukáš Krpálek

The Czech judo maestro has firmly established himself as a titan on a global scale. Crowned as the World Champion and Olympic gold medalist, Krpálek’s prowess on the mat is a combination of sheer strength, unmatched technique, and a strategic mind that has left many opponents in awe. His journey from gyms in Jihlava to the world’s elite is a tale of relentless passion for the art of judo. Off the mat, his sportsmanship resonate with fans and competitors alike. As Lukáš continues to grapple with the world’s best, he not only upholds the Czech Republic’s proud sporting tradition but also inspires countless aspiring judokas.

Petra Kvitová

One of the best female tennis players ever. Petra Kvitová has showcased skills on the world’s most prestigious courts, establishing herself as one of the preeminent figures in tennis. A two-time Wimbledon champion, Kvitová’s aggressive left-handed game, combined with her powerful groundstrokes, has seen her vanquish numerous top-tier opponents in grand slam arenas. She was born in a small town called Bílovec and motivated a new generation of Czech athletes. Beyond her achievements, Petra inspired many with her remarkable comeback after a harrowing home invasion incident. As she continues her quest for tennis supremacy, Kvitová shines as a worldwide superstar. 

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Tomáš Satoranský

The best current basketball player from Prague? Tomáš Satoranský is one of the only five Czechs who made it to the National Basketball Association. His versatility as a guard, combined with a high basketball IQ, quickly made him an asset to teams like the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. His ability to command the floor, whether through orchestrating plays or making crucial baskets, showcases a level of maturity. He returned to Europe in 2022 and currently plays for FC Barcelona with another Czech basketball star Jan Veselý. Their commitment to nurturing the growth of basketball in their homeland have made them both respected figures in Czechia. Tomáš Satoranský exemplifies the potential of Czech basketball and serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes all around the country.

David Pastrňák

David Pastrňák aka Pasta has rapidly ascended to become one of the most electrifying figures in the National Hockey League. This right-winger from Havířov has made a significant impact with the Boston Bruins, his overall skillset makes him a constant threat on the ice. With a knack for finding the back of the net in crucial moments and a style of play that combines European finesse with North American grit, Pastrňák has been instrumental in the Bruins’ recent success. His charisma and genuine love for the game have endeared him to fans both in Boston and back home in Havířov. As David continues to lace up his skates, he firmly cements his place as one of the current titants of Czech ice hockey and a genuine ambassador for the sport.


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