Gustav Bubnik, 1928-2017

1948 Olympian passes away

21.04.2017
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Augustin “Gustav” Bubnik, a player with the Czechoslovakian national team and coach abroad, passed away on Tuesday, April 18, in Prague, at the age of 88.

Bubnik was born in Prague in 1928. He played at the 1948 Olympics at age 19, scoring five goals in four games and winning a silver medal. The team played Canada to a 0-0 tie during the tournament and lost the gold to Canada only because of goals ratio.

A year later, Bubnik played for his country at the World Championship. This time, the Czechs beat Canada, 3-2, in the first game of the final round robin. Bubnik scored the second goal late in the middle period to break a 1-1 tie and propel the team to this historic victory. The Czechs won gold, and Canada silver.

In addition to his international career, Bubnik had a lengthy career in his domestic league, playing many years with LTC Praha and later with Slovan Bratislava.

Bubnik had two brothers, Vaclav and Vlastimil, who also played for the national team, but the three never played together.

Bubnik was part of the 1950 Czech team that was arrested en masse on their way to the 1950 World Championship in London. All of the players were charged with treason and many received long jail sentences. Bubnik received a sentence of 14 years but was released after five. During his imprisonment he lost 30kg (66 lbs.).

After recovering from his incarceration, Bubnik turned to coaching, a pursuit he continued for two decades. Although he was behind the bench in the Czech league, he also coached Finland for three years, including the 1968 Olympics and 1967 and ’69 World Championship. He later moved to the Netherlands, coaching that national team at the 1981 and ’82 Worlds.

In addition to his coaching, Bubnik entered politics and was an MP for the Civic Democratic Party.

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