The Czech Republic has its very first world champion in the sport of mushing, as Martina Štěpánková – along with her dogs Gray and Tim – took home two gold medals in the annual IFSS World Championships 2019.
The IFSS (International Federation of Sleddog Sports) was held over the past weeks in France’s Savoy Alps, where top world talent – both in human and canine form – come together to determine the sport’s top athletes.
Defeating some top Nordic competition, Štěpánková won a gold medal in the single-dog skijöring event, in which she was pulled on skis by her dog Gray.
Later on, during the final day of competition, Štěpánková and Tim won another gold medal in the combination skijöring and pulka (sledding) competition.
The Czech musher also placed fourth in the single-dog pulka event alongside Tim.
Štěpánková wasn’t the only athlete who brought home medals for the Czech Republic; Michal Zeníšek and dogs Kim, Bodie, Doyle and Phoenix won a silver in the four-dog sprint event.
While Czech athletes have been among the top IFSS performers in recent years – the country took home three medals in 2017 – Štěpánková is the first Czech gold medalist in the competition.