Karel Fuchs

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameKarel Ludvik•Fuchs (-Robětín)
Used nameKarel•Fuchs
Other namesKarl Ludwig Robětín
Born25 January 1889 in Praha (Prague), Hlavní město Praha (CZE)
Died14 October 1941 in Marylebone, England (GBR)
Measurements183 cm
NOC Bohemia


Karel Fuchs was born in Praha to Robert Fuchs and Hermine von Posner Fuchs. He played tennis at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, but the story gets complicated after that. Fuchs family took the name Robětín in about June 1919 and he was usually known thereafter as Karl Ludwig Robětín. Robětín became secretary of the Czechoslovakia Lawn Tennis Federation in 1921 and was its President from 1929-38. He was chairman of the tennis club ICLTK Stavanice in Prague and a member of the Czechoslovakia Olympic Committee. Fuchs was a paper industrialist who became chairman of the Economic Association of Paper Industry in Praha, where he was also chairman of the Technical Museum. He also served as the Belgian Consul in Praha.

Robětín later also took up ice hockey as a sport and played for several years with Praha CLTK. His son, Robert Robětín, became quite good at ice hockey and played for that club, Kladno TJ Sokol SONP, and Dynamo Karlovy Vary from 1937-58. Robětín was Jewish, but was an ethnic German. In 1938 he left Czechoslovakia for London, where he moved to avoid being arrested by the Germans. His wife and one of his sons were killed at Auschwitz in 1942. Robětín spent his time in England involved with the piano and his music.

The story gets a bit complicated when one realizes that many sources say that Robětín also played tennis at the 1920 Olympics, but under the name Karel Ardelt. Our research indicates this is not true, and that there were two different Bohemian tennis players named Karel. In fact, both were entered in the singles in 1912 at Stockholm, but Karel Ardelt did not play. Further, there are 1912 Olympic entry forms for both players in the Stockholm Riksarchivet. The confusion arises partly because their birthdates are very close – three days apart. Further confirmation that there were two such persons comes from Bohemian family conscription forms, which document the two different families, and some newspaper articles on the 1921 Davis Cup match against Belgium, in which Ardelt played, but the story was sent to the newspaper by Robětín, and it specifically mentions both names. We also know of the wives and descendants of both athletes and they are not the same, and we have spoken to Karel Fuchs-Robětín grandson, Petr Robětín. Sources calling Karel Ardelt and Karel Fuchs-Robětín the same person are in error.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Tennis BOH Karel Fuchs
Singles, Men (Olympic) =17
Doubles, Men (Olympic) Jaromír Zeman =15
Singles, Covered Courts, Men (Olympic) =5
Doubles, Covered Courts, Men (Olympic) Jaroslav Just DNS