Prague, Feb 2 (CTK) – Senate head Milan Stech will represent the Czech Republic at the Pyeongchang winter Olympics opening and on the first days of the games, the Senate, the upper chamber of Czech parliament, announced today.
Neither President Milos Zeman, nor Prime Minister Andrej Babis nor Chamber of Deputies chairman Radek Vondracek will go to Pyeongchang.
Stech will visit the Olympic games, which start in South Korea on Friday, February 9, as the main political representative of the Czech Republic, Eva Davidova, the Senate Office secretary, told CTK.
She said Stech will attend the ceremonial opening of the games and the opening of the Czech House, and he will support Czech contestants in the first days of the games.
Stech (Social Democrats, CSSD) will return to Prague on February 14.
Vondracek (ANO) said he will not go to the Olympics, nor will any other lower house member planning do so officially.
“True, I previously promised to go, but I have been forced to excuse myself for work and family reasons,” Vondracek told CTK.
Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK that Zeman does not plan to attend the games.
“Based on mutual agreement, none of the ministers or the prime minister are going to visit the Olympics,” Barbora Peterova, spokeswoman for the outgoing ANO minority government, told CTK.
Last weekend, PM Babis (ANO) wrote on Facebook that mainly diplomats should represent the Czech Republic at events abroad.
“I have told all [ministers] – like during the debate on who will go to the Olympics – that the state is no travel agency,” Babis wrote.
Neither the lower house committee for education nor its subcommittee in charge of sports plan to send a delegation to Pyeongchang, their representatives have told CTK.
The latter subcommittee’s only representative at the Olympics will probably be its chairman Milan Hnilicka, who will accompany the Czech national ice hockey team in his capacitgy as the team’s general manager.
Earlier this week, the cabinet appointed Hnilicka its commissioner for sports.