2nd, 2011 Arnold Amateur Europe
She's only 33 now, then she'd just turned 28. Katka had been lifting for at least three years and had come a long way from the very pretty and pretty slender girl she had once been. By 2010 she had hulked her way firmly into our collective consciousness. But it was in the 2010/2011 off-season that she really blossomed, dying her blond locks black, and so becoming the uber-muscle goddess who travelled with the Czech team to Madrid and the first Arnold Classic event to be held outside the USA.
I think I'm in the best shape I've ever been, she told Ronnie.cz shortly before she got on the plane to Spain. My preparation's gone much better than ever before.
Before the contest, her blog whetted the appetite with progress pics and training clips from her preparation, I wrote of the build-up to the show back in 2011 - the very early days of this blog. I vividly remember watching her training chest, a couple of months before the show - the first time I'd seen Katka Dark. She'd been dieting for just a week, and looked so damn good I became utterly convinced that she simply couldn't lose.
For the first time on FMS, and by no means for the last (although I have got a bit better over the years I reckon), I was wrong. Not by much - Katka bested the best of Britain, Brazil and Germany; Lisa Cross, Simone Oliveira, and Nina Loebert, respectively - but somehow just lost out to Russia's Elena Shportun and her dancing abs trick.
It was one of those decisions that sets the forums ablaze with much gnashing of teeth and many many exclamation marks. I weighed in on FMS, managing to come to terms with the result, I thought, because a) I'd been reading up on Buddhism, and b) I was right-clicking like a maniac on pretty much every pic of Katka posing on that stage that I could find (and back in 2011, download speeds were not what they are now). The fact was I was too busy drooling over Katka's muscles to maintain my indignation.
Suddenly I was the teenage boy in his bedroom with his copy of Muscle & Fitness unable to take his eyes off Anja Langer and her beautiful muscular body. Katka thrilled me like the very first time. I just couldn't stop looking at her. Her pecs, her abs, her legs, her arms... a beauty and yet she was just so big and hard, her muscles were so full and defined. Tanned, thrilling. Sexy but beyond sexy. MUSCLE SEXY.
Two images in particular mesmerised me. She's on the floor, leg bicep flexed. Everywhere you look - her legendary calves, the muscle around her knee(!), the definition all over her legs and her glutes - I can barely breathe now, how bad must I have been when I first saw this image?! But she hasn't finished with me yet. My eyes move up her body to her shoulders, her arms - so powerful. I'm gasping for air.
And then, finally, you see that half smile, and those deep, intense eyes...
And the second? Even better!
There were rumours even then that she had decided to quit Bodybuilding (more gnashing of teeth from the brethren), but in fact she returned to Madrid the following year and competed in Bodybuilding again. She finished runner-up again, this time to Jacqueline Fuchs, and then she became the Physique competitor she is today.
Katka at the 2016 Tampa Pro
In her dark-haired phase it's hardly surprising some of the racier female muscle paysites had come calling, and - as FMS noted in 2011 - Katka went through a phase of feeling less than shy about exposing that muscle sexy chest of hers in all its pectacular glory, leaving my Katka Dark folder (yes, I have a special folder for that dark-haired period) busting at the seams, and all of us with many many unforgettable images.
The fact that she's no longer one of the big big girls (and has a fair bit of ink) has led to many a female muscle head crossing her off their love list, but I have to admit I'm still a big big fan, and I don't ever think I'll lose my soft hard spot for Mladá Boleslav's finest.
Follow Katka on Instagram.