In the end, Slovak regional officials rejected the results of an online poll asking what name locals would prefer for the new pedestrian and cycling bridge near Bratislava. The “Chuck Norris Bridge” received more than 12,000 popular votes but regional representatives finally, on September 21, approved the name “Freedom Cycling Bridge”. The Bratislava region agreed on this name together with their Austrian counterparts, the SITA newswire wrote.
Vice-chair of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, Ivo Nesrovnal, argued that the most voted for name was good to popularise and promote the bridge and that it fulfilled a purpose. But he found Chuck Norris Bridge not apt for the construction connecting the Slovak and Austrian sides of the Morava River as “you cannot cross Chuck Norris”. Regional representative Ján Zvonár criticised the Bratislava region for “not having supported the public and ignoring its opinion concerning the bridge’s name”.
Head of the Bratislava Region, Pavol Frešo, on the other hand, said that the issue was not to vote about the name of the bridge but rather about the proposals of how it could be named. He said he thought they had managed to find a name people can accept and that, even if it is more conservative, it is more proper due to the importance of the site, where many people died when attempting to cross the border and flee the communist country.
Second place in the poll went to Maria Theresa Bridge which received 1,393 votes while third place, Cycling Bridge Devínska, got 600 votes. The Freedom Bridge was only fourth, with 457 votes, followed by Iron Curtain Bridge, Pavol Demitra (a late ice-hockey international), L. Melišek Bridge and “Finally A-Bridge”. In total, 18,089 respondents participated in the poll.
Chuck Norris, a martial arts expert turned film star, is known for playing tough guy characters in such classic movies as "Lone Wolf McQuade", "Missing in Action", and "The Delta Force". The actor's work has become a popular source of kitschy fun among Slovaks and a mainstay for local jokes about macho strength and invincibility, the Reuters newswire reported.
8. Oct 2012 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská