Martina Navratilova fled the then-Czechoslovakia in the 1970s for freedom in the U.S. Now, 33 years later, she has regained her Czech citizenship, 19 years after the Berlin Wall fell.
"I lost it at the time I defected. I got it back on Jan 9," Navratilova, 51, said during a visit to Tokyo. She defected to the U.S. in 1975 after she was denied the right to play professionally here by the Czech communist government. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, democratic states, were formed after communism fell.
Outspoken as always, Navratilova took a slam at her adopted country while discussing regaining her Czech citizenship. A Florida resident, she will keep her U.S. passport and maintain dual citizenship.
"The thing is that we elected Bush," she told the Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny. "That is worse. Against that, nobody chose a Communist government in Czechoslovakia."
Navratilova, out during her stellar career, has long been an outspoken advocate for gay rights and leans decidedly left in her political opinions. In 2004, she donated $500 to John Kerry’s presidential bid and $1,000 a year ago to John Edwards. –Jim Buzinski
Related: Outsports December 2007 interview with Navratilova.
Hat tip to the blog Boozhy