Time is running out until the Paralympic Games in Paris:

My story

I'm Arnošt "Arny" Petráček. I have had a congenital defect of my upper and lower limbs since birth. In my lower limbs it is a luxation of knee joints, my upper limbs are missing arm bones.

My parents introduced me to water very early on. At the age of 11 I started swimming competitively. At the age of 15, I swam for a silver medal and the title of World Vice-Champion at the championships in Durban, South Africa. In 2016 came Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and straight away a great gold!

I managed to win a medal from the Paralympic Games 4 years later, in Tokyo 2021. I missed the gold by 27 hundredths of a second and brought silver to the Czech Republic. I broke the world record in the heats!

I have now met the limits for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. I firmly believe that I will be able to represent the Czech Republic well this time and defend my gold medal from 2016.

Be there with me!

Date of birth
25th July 1991
Place of birth
Písek, Czech Republic
Height and weight
148 cm, 40 kg
Congenital defects
knee joint luxation
Absence of arm bones
Favourite discipline
50m character
What I enjoy
driving a car
nature walks

Key moments of my life

I have had several pivotal moments in my life that have shaped my values, decisions and made me the person I am now. They taught me determination, perseverance and the power of human will. They are moments that give me direction and inspire me to keep moving forward.


I was born with congenital defects in my upper and lower limbs
Even though I was born with a physical disability, it in no way stopped me from living my dream. On the contrary, my disability became the driving force behind my determination and desire to prove that I could overcome any obstacle.


First moments in the pool
My parents ran a guesthouse with a swimming pool in Lipno nad Vltavou, where I learned to swim. I began to move in the water with a freedom I had never experienced before. I found that the water filled me with joy and the conviction that swimming was my mission.


First successes

The pool at the guesthouse was fine, but my determination required a trainer. So I joined the disabled swimming club swimmers. Here I started swimming competitively and gradually improved.

My first big success came when I was 11 years old at the Karlovy Vary Cup, in which I won my first medal. The big break was for me was the result of my first international competition in Brno in 2005, at where I swam bronze.


I graduated from college
...but I'll take it one step at a time. I went to kindergarten and elementary school at Arpida until 3rd grade. It's a center for the handicapped. The children are given more attention in a smaller group setting. From there I moved on to mainstream primary school. Then I went to high school and after graduation I was accepted to the University of Technology and Economics, where I majored in Business Economics.


I have a driver's license!
Even with my handicap, it's possible to drive. In 2010 I successfully passed my driving test and I have been on the road ever since. I have no special modifications to my car, I just have to have the front airback removed. I love driving and you could say it's my hobby. I like that I can concentrate on something else. It's a nice way to relax. And sometimes I even drive as a taxi driver.


Gold medal from Rio de Janeiro 2016
I participated in my first Paralympic Games in 2008 in Beijing. London followed in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. There I finally lived to see the most precious metal brought to the Czech Republic!


Silver Tokyo 2021
I wanted to repeat my success from Rio 5 years later at the Paralympics in Tokyo. Here I was only 27 hundredths of a second away from the gold medal, but I still managed to swim a world record!


Cooperation with Emil

At the end of 2022, I approached the Emil Foundation. For its financial I've been able to rely on for support for several years, but in my situation. I needed a partner with whom I could have an intensive collaboration and to get the backing of a professional team. At a time when all costs are rising - for training, rehabilitation, concentration, etc. and the only thing going down is your budget, you can't think of gold.

But I was lucky enough that Emil agreed. His team started taking care of my personal presentation, created a new graphic visual for me (these web website), started managing my social networks, and brought in new partners. He just took care of everything, and now I can just focus on on one goal - Paris Gold.


Arny's Golden Paris!
I have now met my quota for the 2024 Paralympics, and although I still have to wait for a nomination, I firmly believe that I will fly to Paris and rejoice with you through your screens on 7 September.
© Arnošt Petráček, 2023 - 2024

Created by

MODERI s.r.o.