oh, and check out the photo of the young lady here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/spor ... v=top-news
Kratochvilova was born, and still lives, in the village of Golcuv Jenikov. As a girl, she worked on her uncle’s farm, harvesting beets and potatoes by hand. When Track and Field News named her athlete of the year in 1983, the accompanying story by a Czech journalist said, “At 12, she was already able to toss a pitchfork of hay into the loft as well as any adult farmer.”
While working as an accountant and training for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Kratochvilova sometimes ran beneath streetlights at 4 in the morning before heading to her job. At those Games, even as a part-time athlete, she won a silver medal at 400 meters for Czechoslovakia.
She then began training full time here on a cinder track and forest paths. The stories about her immense willpower and strength are legendary in the track world. And whether they are repeated matter-of-factly, or told with awe or wariness, they remain astonishing.
She sprinted in spiked shoes on a frozen pond when snow covered the cinder track in winter. She ran repeats of 200 meters while dragging a tire filled with varying amounts of sand. To recover from surgery on her left Achilles’ tendon, she dashed through a foot of water in a pool, wore a weighted vest and placed a gas mask over her face to restrict her breathing and raise her pulse rate.
“It didn’t work very well,” Kratochvilova said. “I could barely see through the mask.”
According to Kratochvilova and her coach, she possessed such power and stamina that, in a single, several-hour session of weight lifting, she could hoist up to 25 tons. A Czech newspaper said it was 16 tons. Either amount, while not independently verified, would be extraordinary.
Miroslav Kvac, the coach, said Kratochvilova needed coaxing to nap between morning and afternoon training sessions.
“I had to lock her in a room because she didn’t want to sleep,” Kvac said.
“A cloakroom,” Kratochvilova clarified.