Bronisław Czech was one of the most versatile Polish skiers between the wars. He was also a mountain climber and rescuer, skiing instructor, glider pilot and instructor. He won a total of 24 Polish Championships in various disciplines (cross-country, Nordic combined, jumping, Alpine). In addition to his three Olympic appearances, he took part in seven World Championships until 1937, with the best placings coming in 1927 and 1929 when he finished fifth and fourth respectively in Nordic combined. In ski jumping he bettered the national record three times, the last time in 1929 when he increased it to 63 m. In addition to winter sports and mountaineering, Czech also competed in athletics, table tennis, swimming and kayaking, and drove motorcycles.
Czech studied at the School of Timber Industry in his hometown Zakopane to become a carpenter. He also attended the Central Institute of Physical Education in Warszawa, where he graduated as a physical education teacher and ski instructor. In 1932, he started to work as a ski instructor on the Kasprowy Wierch, a mountain in the Western Tatras marking the border to Slovakia, where he later established his own ski school. In 1934, he wrote a book about “Skiing and Ski Jumping Style”. In addition, he ran a sporting goods store in Zakopane. He also had musical and artistic talents, played violin and accordion, and painted on paper and glass, carved wood and wrote poems.
When war broke out in 1939, he joined the Polish resistance movement as a courier to Hungary. He was arrested by the German Gestapo in 1940 and was one of the first victims to be transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. During his imprisonment he continued to paint landscapes of the Tatras from memory. He died in 1944 in the camp’s hospital ward. To honor him and the murdered Alpine skier Helena Marusarzówna (1918-1941), the Czech-Marusarzówna-Memorial is held annually in Zakopane.