Slavia pojišťovna Sport Team Z.S. was the best placed and most successful Czech team in the 2021/2022 season. Heli Heiskanen ended in 8th place at the Champion Competition, Stanislav Řezáč was the best-placed Czech male skier in the 28th place overall, and Tereza Hujerová finished the season in 4th overall in the Youth Competition and 23rd overall in the Champion Competition.
“We have met the goals we set before the season,” says Pavel Sehnal, Team Leader and Pro Tour skier.
With space for improvement and not consistently the best results, Pavel doesn’t hide the joy.
“The season was extremely long and demanding this time. The organizers have decided to diversify the races for spectators with various variants of track length from relatively short to very long, difficult courses, especially uphill. The skiers had huge efforts. We scored regularly and kept up with the best teams. Even with those that have better conditions regarding ski preparations or purchasing material.”
With 14 events from December 2021 until April 2022, Sehnal highlight the efforts of the Pro Team’s skiers.
“Finnish skier Heli Heiskanen got the most points for the team. She started all the races and, in the end, got into the top ten in the overall ranking. Being eighth in Ski Classics is a great result.”
The Ski Classics Legend Stanislav Řezáč also deserves recognition.
“You know about someone else, maybe in another sport – that has been at the world’s top for 22 years? He regularly competed for the bib of the best Veteran with the phenomenal Norwegian Anders Aukland, even though Řezáč was second in the Veteran bib in the end.”
In a previous article about Stanislav Řezáč, he wondered whether the 2022/23 Season would be his last and his motivation.
“I don’t want to finish yet. I will prepare for the next season as best I can. I want to enjoy it and give my best,” Řezáč says and continues:
“Last season, I even felt the best in my career, and not having bad shoulders, which I haven’t talked about publicly, I’d be even more successful.”
Stanislav Řezáč acknowledges the position of best Czech male skier in the Ski Classics.
“Make a top place is getting harder. There is increasing competition with great sports equipment and perfect physics. I am happy with some partial results, including a tenth place in the Tartu Maraton. I also succeeded in Jizerská 50 – for that, I was very happy in front of the home audience.”
“I was mainly sorry for the innocent fall on Vasaloppet, where I was really well prepared. And I have to say that I was thrilled by Reistadløpet, where I started for the very first time in my career.”
The cooperation with other quality skiers also proves the growing reputation of the Czech team as Michal Vank, Karel Znojemský, Kateřina Smutná, Finnish skiers Jesper West and Lauri Lepistö, and British James Clugnet.
“In this trend, we want to cooperate with top skiers next season,” says Sehnal and recalls that the main mission of Slavia pojišťovna Sport Team is not to race but to inspire the general public to be healthy.
“You don’t even know how happy we were to see the audience along the tracks after two covid years,” concludes Pavel Sehnal.