Olympic champion – Lukas Krpalek won every major honor on offer in judo's 90-100kg category... Now he's stepped up to the heavyweight division.
Rio 2016 Olympics – "My three biggest results are gold from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the 2014 World title in Chelyabinsk and the 2013 European Championship title in Budapest," Krpalek tells CNN.
Junior World Championships 2008 – Incredibly, the Czech Republic's first ever Olympic judo champion only took up the sport by chance -- initially presuming the martial arts lessons he was receiving as a child were karate.
Junior European Championships 2008 – "My brother and I kept going for about a month until we found out that it wasn't karate, but judo," he laughs. "My uncle got the time wrong! Thank God he made that mistake."
Tokyo 2010 World Championships – Krpalek could also have grown up to be an ice hockey player, had things worked out differently. "As a little boy I would spend crazy amounts of time on the ice," he smiles. "Whenever the pond froze over in winter, we would go out with the boys. After school, I always dropped my backpack, picked up my skates, hockey stick, and ran to the pond. It was something wonderful."
Paris 2011 World Championships – Krpalek's family didn't have enough money to fund his ice hockey dream, but the Czech continued honing his skills on the tatami. And in 2011, he won bronze at the Paris World Championships -- his country's first medal of any color at that level since its declaration of independence.
Budapest 2013 European Championships – Of all the prestigious medals Krpalek has won, he says it was a 2006 European Cadets Championship silver that gave him cause to believe he could reach the upper echelons of the sport. Seven years later in Budapest, he won the senior European title.