Michal Smola (born ) is a
Czech orienteering competitor, silver medalist from the world
championships, and junior world champion. He became Junior World
Champion in the short distance in Nove Mesto na
Morave in 2000, and with the Czech team in
relay in 2000 and in 2001.
Junior World Orienteering Championships –
International Orienteering Federation (Retrieved on
July 17, 2008) "Profile: Michal Smola" – World of O Runners
(Retrieved on July 17, 2008) His best achievement
by September 2009 is silver medal in
the middle distance at the 2008 World Orienteering
Championship in Olomouc.
born in Zlín, a city of
80,000 people in the Czech Republic.
At the age of 12, he
joined the local orienteering club SKOB Zlín where he was trained
by Jiri Stacke until 1999. In 1995, age 14, Michal gained his first
orienteering title in the national championship (short distance,
category under 16 years old). In 1998, he won his first
international competition, European Youth Championships in Hungary
in the under 18 years old category.
After 2000, Michal started training on his own. The same year he
won two Junior world championships (short distance and relay).
Together with the Czech team, he defended the relay gold next year
and won individual bronze medals in short and long distance
His first successes in adult competitions were two gold and one
silver medal in University world championships in 2004. However, in
2005 he failed to qualify for the World Orienteering
(WOC) and also got a serious ankle injury. Those
failures pushed Michal to reconsider his training and to change the
club to Swedish Sodertalje-Nykvarn Orientering. The changes worked
well and Michal progressed to the 4th place at 2006 WOC long
distance competition. In 2008 he won his first, and the only so far
WOC medal - a silver in the middle distance run.
2009 in Miskolc,
Hungary, during the last leg of the relay race Thierry Gueorgiou (France), Anders Nordberg (Norway), and Smola were
close behind the lead runner, Martin Johansson
(Sweden), when Johansson suffered a 12 cm deep penetrating trauma from a stick in his
Nordberg, Smola, and Gueorgiou
finishing their race after aiding Johansson; Gueorgiou has the
stick in his pocket
While Nordberg ran for
help, Gueorgiou and Smola stayed with Johansson; they pulled out
the stick, harnessed the wound using a shirt and a GPS tracking
strap and then carried Johansson
to a road. Nordberg brought a physician there. After Johansson was
on his way to the hospital, Smola, Gueorgiou and Nordberg continued
the course. They jogged together to the finish at 25th, 26th, and
27th places. After much deliberation on whether or not to void the
relay, the organizers declared that it stood. Interpretation of
(IOF) competition rules was at issue:
rule 26.13 states "The organiser must void a competition if at any
point it becomes clear that circumstances have arisen which make
the competition unfair or dangerous for the competitors." IOF
president Åke Jacobson told Gueorgiou, Nordberg and Smola "What you
did today is a great example of extreme sportsmanship and fair
play. You are an inspiration for all of us!" As an orienteering
relay team has 3 runners, orienteers have dubbed Gueorgiou,
Nordberg and Smola "Team Fairplay".
In 8 years through August 2009 he has participated in 96 IOF world
ranking races. After WOC 2009, Michal ranked 29th in the world in
foot orienteering. His highest rank ever was 8th, in 2008.
Michal is a doctoral student at Tomas Bata University in
at the Faculty of Applied Informatics, Department of
Electrotechnics and Measurements. His hobbies include travel,
photography, music and watching movies.