A man of principle he was. Nothing could swerve him from his inner duty. Humiliation untold he was ready to tolerate. Whenever his inner moral fibre was severely tested, he always came out easily triumphant, as was the case with his Olympic ordeals.

When the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia, Zatopek was a supporter of Alexander Dubcek. His loyalty to Dubcek was incredible. After the invasion, the Russians expelled him from the Czech army, in which he had held the rank of colonel.

From being a colonel, he had to take the job of a garbage collector in Prague. He suffered the excruciating pangs of humiliation, but cheerfully he went through it. Because he was a man of such principle, his friends and admirers became closer to him. Some kind-hearted men even helped him in his new job. He did a few more menial jobs, but indomitable was his spirit. Cheerful was his life. He braved the storms of life smilingly and thus triumphed in the battlefield of real life.