A Run in Ondrej's Honor
Ondrej was a very good runner. In his early running days he used to jog around the Millwall dock not far away from the Canary Wharf in London and in the Sarka park in Prague. Gradually he worked himself up to a number of half-marathons and marathons in London and Prague. His next planned was BML - a run through the Milicovsky forest in Prague.
From Ondrej's brother-in-law, Kirk: "On New Year’s Day, 2013, Ondrej sent me an email about a run in Prague. We’d been talking about it for a while, but I was too overwhelmed to commit to a marathon or half-marathon and needed to take care of my broken older-brother-in-law knees so suggested a run in the forest. In response, he had found a run called the ‘BML - Běh Milíčovským lesem’, 8.8 kilometers through the forest in Prague 11. The plan was for us to run, along with Hanka, in June 2013.
In the spirit of celebrating one of his passions, running, and a chance to get together with his closest friends and colleagues, a group of us ran the race in his honor. As Ondrej noted in his invitation to me (and which I remembered when I started to feel a little weak around the 6th kilometer!): “If a Russian can do it, and in record time, so can we :-)” (Note: The winner from 2012 was Volodya Trotsiuk with the record time of 32:27).
More information about place, terrain, organization of the last year's run can be found on web page behej.com
Another annual BML run took place on 14 June 2014 . We thank all of you who came to run and remember Ondrej with us. The year 2015 will mark the run's 30th anniversary and will be held on 13 June. In case you are interested in joining us, please contact Ondrej's sister Zdenka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expedition to the High Tatras in Slovakia
From Vita (Ondrej's long-term friend): When I last had the chance to talk to Ondrej in early March 2013, he was gearing up for a trip to the High Tatras, among others to conquer the fatal mountain. We talked about its name (Satan) and agreed that at some point we'd head out to the mountains together. In the summer at the earliest as I leave the winter mountain climbs to experienced blokes like Ondrej was. Come summer, Ondrej was no longer here and I agreed with a couple of common friends from high-school and college, Ales and Standa, and in September we set out to the High Tatras to remember our friend. We were joined by Ales' girlfriend Kristyna, so the female element was not missing. The goal of our journey was Popradske pleso located in the valley under the Satan mountain as well as the nearby cemetery dedicated to the victims of these stunning but at the same time cruel mountains.
I thought to myself that in our rather touristy terms of traversing the ridges of the Tatras and Kristyna's presence will be a guarantee that the three-day trip will be easy to handle. While climbing to the "Priecne sedlo" (Transverse saddle) and namely while descending from "Prielom"(Twist) I simply had to take my hat off to Ondrej. I had to summon all my physical and mental strengths to manage this complicated, albeit only touristy route. I learned that climbing in such a strenuous manner over all of these peaks, both in the summer and winter might have been a natural thing for Ondrej, but is only possible after long-term training and a strong will. And Ondrej surely had one. In the valley under Satan, no one felt chatty as we were staring at the majestic mountain. The power of the moment affected us even more so at the cemetery. It is a cruel irony of fate that one can actually see Satan from there…We agreed that Ondrej deserves to have a dignified memory there in a form of a commemorative plaque, alongside such big names as the first conqueror of Mt. Everest, originally from Czechoslovakia. We can only guess what other mountain peaks and life hurdles Ondrej would have surmounted yet…
Commemorative plaque at the cemetery in the High Tatras
We came "to see Ondrej" after a year and three months to the High Tatras…Ondrej's Mom, sister Zdenka with three kids and Ondrej's best friend since high school, the very dear Vit Bavor. In the evening of the 3rd of August 2014, Mr. Michalik, the curator of the commemorative cemetery for victims of mountain-climbing tragedies, mounted a commemorative plaque made of copper with Ondrej's smiling picture and a forged shape of a candle with an eternal flame…Together we chose a dignified spot on a big granite rock. Our Ondrej now has his own, 342th plaque amongst mountain climbers that were killed by their hobby and to whom their families and friends with love created a "memorial". However, there are many more people who tragically died in the Tatras….
The ominous mountain Satan was looking at us from everywhere the whole time and at every step reminded us of the cruel reality. We saw our wonderful, exceptional, much loved Ondrej, how he is, for the last time in his life, after conquering the peak, smiling happily, so ALIVE….and after a couple of minutes he is falling down desperately and he is DEAD. …
Ondrej loved the mountains but they became fatal to him. At a glance, they are breath-taking, beautiful but in reality unpredictable and cruel. The discussion with the curator, who himself was a mountain climber and served for many years at the mountain rescue service, was very interesting and honest. In his opinion the mountain guide, who died during the accident as well, should have never decided to set off on that day based upon the conditions and the previous day’s tragic accident nearby…
The library of Ondrej Petr
One of Ondrej's many virtues was the ability to read quickly any book - stemming from thick legal books, volumes of laws to fiction. His favorite authors were Tom Clancy and John Grisham, all of whose books from a legal environment he had read. In cooperation with the Law firm Havel Holasek & Partners a small library was created with Ondrej's books bearing his name.
Ondrej Petr's Creative Writing Prize
Created in cooperation with King's College in London, where Ondrej was a student as well as a teacher. This prize will be awarded yearly to the best paper by a non-native English speaking student of the LL.M. program. The goal is to support creative writing by students and to acknowledge their varied cultural background. The family created the prize with the support of Prof. Dalhuisen, Ondrej's Ph.D thesis advisor..
Ondrej used to celebrate his Christmas birthday (24 December 1975) traditionally in 5-year intervals with his closest friends usually a week before Christmas. We would like to maintain this tradition and continue to gather in his memory, albeit without him. His next "round" birthday would be in December 2015.
Ondrej's account has been renamed to Ondrej Petr (resp. ondrej.petr) - In Memoriam. Together with this website we would like to keep his memory and the legacy of our beloved Ondrej alive.
People in Need
Ondrej contributed for many years to the charity organization People in Need and became an honored member of their Club of friends, Ondrej's closest family continues to support the organization in his name.