Jo had been friends for some time with Katerina Neumannova, the Olympic and World Champion gold medallist in cross-country skiing, when she first discussed with her the idea of building a cross country track somewhere in the city, that would allow people from Prague to be able to ski and take part in competitions without having to travel out to the country or the mountains.
It had always been a dream for Katerina to do something like this, but the problem with finding a suitable location was that it needed to have some form of water irrigation system in place in order to make the artificial snow, and to implement such a system into a regular plot of land would be so expensive it would be completely unviable.
In the very early 90s, one of Jo’s first marketing projects was working with the company that, at that time, ran the horseracing track in Pardubice, home of the world-famous Velka Pardubicka horse race. At that time, the organising team that she worked with was headed up by Petr Drahos, who had since become a friend. However, in the early 2000s, Petr had taken over the running of the flat-racing track in Prague, at Velka Chuchle, and as the discussions with Katerina moved into more detail, it occurred to Jo that this could be the ideal place for the cross country track to be built, as it already had a substantial irrigation system in place, due to the need to keep the horse-racing track watered during the whole summer.
So began a long round of discussions between Katerina, Petr and Jo, from which the SkiPark Chuchle was born, and in the early years Jo was heavily involved in everything related to the marketing and communications of the park, as an external marketing consultant and, of course, one of the founders of the project.
Very sadly, due to the continuing climate change and the last few years of very little snow in Prague or elsewhere in the Czech Republic, SkiPark Chuchle has suffered horribly, and, eventually, it was moved to higher ground and run under the auspices of the City of Prague. Now, as with most summers, plans are in abeyance until it is clear whether the weather will allow the park to open again.