Synek had already got some clues beforehand: “On the 22nd December on TV the best sportsman of the year will be announced and I’m in the top 10, however I’ve heard that I’ll be in the top three,” said Synek in the second part of interview published on the FISA website on 20 December.
According to the official website of the event, a part of the award is 170,000 Czech crowns equal to approximately 6,700 euros.
The journalists’ recognition for the rower is remarkable: Synek has become the highest ranking representative of summer sports. In the aftermath of this year’s winter Olympics, the most acclaimed Czech athlete was the phenomenal double Olympic champion in women’s speed skating, Martina Sáblíková, followed by double Olympic medalist in men’s cross-country skiing, Lukáš Bauer.
The Athlete of the Year was first announced in the then Czechoslovakia in 1959. The only rowing winner of the poll was Václav Kozák in 1963, otherwise known as a 1960 Olympic champion in men’s double.
UPDATE: The story was adopted by the official FISA website on 27 December 2010.