Hana Ricna (TCH)

1981 Junior Friendship Tournament (Druzhba):  7th AA
1982 Junior European Championships:  9th AA, 5th FX, 8th UB
1982 Junior GDR-TCH Dual Meet:  1st AA
1982 Moscow News:  4th AA
1982 TCH-ITA Dual Meet: 1st Team, 1st AA
1983 European Championships: 13th AA, 6th FX, 8th UB
1983 Riga International: 1st UB
1983 TCH Championships: 1st AA
1983 World Championships: 6th Team, 14th AA, 2nd BB, 8th UB
1984 American Cup: 8th AA, 1st B
1984 Chunichi Cup:  5th AA, 1st UB, 1st B
1984 Kosice International:  2nd AA
1984 Olomouc (Alternate): 2nd AA, 2nd BB, 4th FX, 8th UB
1984 Tokyo Cup: 1st UB
1985 Chunichi Cup: 1st AA, 1st UB, 2nd B, 2nd FX
1985 European Championships: 4th AA, 2nd B, 4th UB, 4th FX
1985 French International: 1st UB, 1st B, 2nd FX
1985 Tokyo Cup: 1st UB, 2nd B
1985 World Championships: 5th Team, 8th AA, 3rd UB, 5th B
1986 Kosice International: 1st AA, 1st UB, 2nd B, 3rd V
1986 TCH-GDR "B"-HUN Tri-Meet: 1st AA
1986 World Cup: 5th AA, 4th UB, 5th B, 5th FX
1988 Olympic Games: 7th Team, 29th AA

The majority of these results were compiled from information found at Gymn Forum.

Photo used with the expressed permission of Sato Takeo

Hana Ricna was Czechoslovakia's star gymnast throughout much of the 1980s. In 1984, politics cruelly kept her, and many other athletes from Communist countries, from competing in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. 

Instead, she and other gymnasts from Communist countries competed at Olomouc, in what has become known as the Alternate games. There, Mostepanova performed brilliantly, scoring a perfect 40.00! Not far behind was Hana Ricna, who earned silver medals in the AA and on balance beam.

"We were sad and mad about the boycott, but we couldn't do anything," Ricna told IG magazine. "They told us it would not be safe to compete in Los Angeles, but we knew that was not true because some of the judges were going."

Robbed of the chance to compete at her prime in the Olympics, she nevertheless pushed past plaguing injuries to make the 1988 Czechoslovakian Olympic team. Although she did not fare well individually at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, at least she had the opportunity to compete in an Olympic Games.

Ricna retired after the Olympics, electing to pursue her studies. In 1992 she she graduated with a master's degree in physical education. For the next three years she oversaw the Czech Republic's developmental team, eventually accepting a coaching position in Florida.

In Florida, Ricna met and married fellow coach Lorin Jessen. Just over a year later, the couple's first child, a son named David, was born. David is enrolled in gymnastics, and Ricna told IG magazine that he is, "tiny, flexible and strong, and he could be a good gymnast." In August 2002, the couple welcomed daughter Sandra.

In the October 1997 issue of IG, it was reported that Ricna and 1994 DTB Cup beam champion Pavlova Kinclova (CZE) faced off in a pair of videos produced by the Danube Wrestling organization. The two women competed in arm-wrestling and freestyle wrestling matches.

Ricna and her family eventually left Florida, accepting coaching positions at Patti Dunn's School of Gymnastics in Hebron, Connecticut. She and her husband opened Conn-quest Gymnastics Club in late 2001, one of their club logos featuring an image of Ricna performing her well-known reverse planche. She told IG, "My goal is to place kids on the national team."

Hana Ricna was born on December 20, 1968.

. This page was created May 8, 1999 and last updated October 2002.

 

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