Growing up in Prague as part of an active family, Vaclav Snuparek enjoyed a wide field of activities that ranged from alpine and cross-country skiing to tennis and navigational orienteering with a little pottery and painting thrown in.
Cycling entered Snuparek’s life in the form of family mountain bike rides with his father and younger sister. This lead Snuparek to getting involved early in local MTB races. Through his teenage years, a taste for competition developed where he represented his school in national cross-country running events and regular orienteering races culminating in a runner’s up spot at the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships.
After years of consistent high placings and podiums in cross-country MTB and orienteering events, Snuparek started to struggle to perform and began experiencing severe fatigue, cramp, and weight loss. At the time, he was studying for a physiology exam and knew something wasn’t right and recognized the traditional diabetes symptoms.
He immediately went to the hospital and doctors confirmed his suspicions. At age 22, Snuparek was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For Snuparek, the diagnosis came as a relief because he knew he could educate himself around the condition and would be able to manage his diet and lifestyle and be able to get back to his previous level on the bike.
Within three days of his diagnosis, Snuparek contacted Team Novo Nordisk and received a swift response and immediately began sending the team his monthly training overviews. A year later, he was selected for his first talent ID camp, an experience that he describes as an eyeopener that helped him learn how to manage his diabetes better while training and racing and also giving him a clear goal and path to reach it.
In 2018, Snuparek decided to split the final year of his degree between Belgium and Prague and raced 45 days on the Belgian circuit. He returned to Belgium with gained experience from the previous year and raced in the same events as Team Novo Nordisk’s development team. The decision paid off. A second invite talent ID camp beckoned that earned him a spot on the development team for the 2020 season.
Now a fully qualified physiotherapist, Snuparek enjoys spending time with his family, girlfriend, and trying to keep his house plants alive.