Lumir Ruzha, an example for all

Lumir Ruzha, World and European veteran champion  (Photo: courtesy of Jaroslav Stanek)

by Jaroslav Stanek

Many times World and European veteran champion, born on Friday 7th January 1927, Lumir Ruzha passed away on Sunday 17th February. He was 92 years old.

For no less than 28 years he led Czech Veteran Committee and he was very active member of Swaythling Club International for many years.

Lumir was not only an excellent sportsman, he was an all-round sportsman.

As teenager he had played top level ice hockey for the Slavia Prague club; when his ice hockey career finished, he turned his attentions to table tennis. In 1986 he participated in the Veteran European Championship for first time; later in 2002 he won his first men’s singles title; at the time he was 75 years old.

True to his character, he practised every day; three times he secured the men’s singles title at a World Championships, five times at the European Championships.

In 2018, his aim was to win gold in Las Vegas; he came very close. After beating Sheng Tan-Tsu of the United States in the semi-finals of the men’s singles 90 years and over (11-7, 11-2, 11-4) he lost narrowly in the final to China’s Chen Tongning (5-11, 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8).

My dear Lumir, thank you for all you did for our graceful and athletic sport. You stay in our minds as an outstanding role model for others to follow; never forgotten.