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Rewriting history: First two Slovak women reach the summit of Everest

A selection of short feel-good stories from Slovakia.

By: sme.sk

  • May 24 2024
  • 40
Rewriting history: First two Slovak women reach the summit of Everest
Rewriting history: First two S

Every week The Slovak Spectator brings you a selection of three short stories from across Slovakia from which pessimism and negativity are absent.

Slovak women climbers celebrate epic Everest achievements

Two Slovak women recently made history by being the first to successfully climb the world’s highest mountain.

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First, scientist Lucia Janičová became the first Slovak woman to climb Mount Everest on May 12. She started in Nepal and climbed the peak from the southeast ridge as part of a group of more than 20 mountain climbers and sherpas (including experienced sherpa Kami Rita). She used supplementary oxygen.

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“I’m extremely tired, but I feel immense euphoria that I climbed Mount Everest,” Janičová said after returning to base camp, as quoted in a press release.

Just nine days later, Lenka Poláčková, who has worked as an actor and TV presenter, climbed the mountain, accompanied by her husband and two sherpas. She did not use any supplementary oxygen, and became just the 10th woman in history to conquer the world’s highest summit in this way.



Climbing without oxygen requires a very specific approach, and optimal conditions. Apart from wind, the situation is complicated by the body's adaptation to the thin air, the Sportnet.sk website reported.

Poláčková has been working tewards her dream of conquering Mount Everest for several years, but she did not know exactly what to expect.

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“Everest without oxygen? I want to believe it’s real. I want to believe that the long weeks spent in the Himalayas acclimatising, ascents and demanding rotations up to 8,000 metres have sufficiently prepared me for this ascent. I couldn’t do more in preparation. And this feeling gives me confidence. It was a lot of hard work. But I'm used to working on things. To follow them through hours of effort, struggles with yourself, experiencing moments of weakness, anxiety or exhaustion and then drawing from these moments,” she wrote in the base camp before the climb.



Apart from the two women, only eight Slovaks have previously managed to climb Everest. The last time a Slovak set foot on the top of an 8,000m-plus mountain was in 2017, when Peter Hámor climbed Dhaulagiri (8,167 metres above sea level), thus completing the list of all of the "eight-thousanders", Sportnet.sk wrote.

A rare visitor to the fields near Bratislava

The Sysľovské polia protected area for birds, situated just outside the Slovak capital, welcomed a very rare visitor in late May.

A black-winged kite, a diurnal bird of prey best known for its habit of hovering over open grasslands in the manner of much smaller kestrels, was spotted at Three Borders, the place where Slovakia, Austria and Hungary meet.

“Up until now, I’ve seen black-winged kites only in Asia and Cyprus, and this observation was a big surprise for me,” said Ján Dobšovič, a birdwatcher from Watching.sk, as quoted by the TASR newswire. As he explained, this species usually nests in Africa and Asia, and in the Iberian Peninsula.

It is only the third time this species has been observed in Slovakia, Dobšovič added.

Quadrille made Košice dance

Wearing yellow and blue costumes in homage to the official colours of Košice, nearly 2,500 dancers gathered in the eastern Slovak city’s streets in late May.

They were dancing the quadrille, as part of the international project European Quadrille Dance Festival, started in 2002 and attended by about 50 cities across Europe.

The project is great because it unites nations, said Milan Plačko of the local dance club TC Meteor Košice, which organised the event together with the City of Košice.

“I’ll say it as I feel it – we connect our hearts with everyone,” he commented, as quoted by the SITA newswire, adding that the quadrille represents friendship and respect, and that it connects people through generations. Among the dancers in Košice were mostly pupils from local primary and secondary schools, but also older people.

Apart from Košice, the quadrille was danced in the towns of Svidník (eastern Slovakia), Zvolen and Sliač (both in central Slovakia), thus increasing the number of dancers to some 3,000 nationwide, the city wrote on Facebook.

Five feel-good stories published by The Slovak Spectator to read:

Political meme of the week

Wolf: Danko wants to forbid satire.

Red: We’ll talk in allegories. Epaulettes, traffic lights, I kiss you everywhere...

With this meme, artist Rosie Babicová, whose works can be found on the internet and social networks under the name Rosie Naive Art, reacts to the latest plans by the Slovak National Party (SNS), part of the current governing coalition, and its leader Andrej Danko to censor a satirical website, Zomri. The site often publishes humorous memes, many of which refer to Danko, who has featured in several scandals over the years. This meme by Babicová reacts to Danko being promoted to the military rank of captain in September 2016 when he was speaker of parliament, his recent crash into traffic lights, and his flirtatious communication with Alena Zsuzsová, who has since been convicted of commissioning the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.

You can send me your tips on good news stories about Slovakia or funny memes at: radka.minarechova@spectator.sk. Thank you!


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