The year 1968 in Czechoslovakia was marked by the so-called Prague Spring. This was a period of political liberalization brought to a violent end on 21st of August 1968 with the invasion of the country by the Soviet army and the forces of the Warsaw pact. The communist dictatorship was renewed in April 1969 and was followed by the period of so-called “normalization” which meant a return to Stalinist practices.
1968 was also an important year for culture and sports in Czechoslovakia. The film director Jiří Menzel received an Oscar for best foreign film for Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Observed Trains). The gymnast Věra Čáslavská won four gold and two silver at the Olympics in Mexico and was declared the best sportswoman in the world that same year.