Irena Szewinska is one of Poland’s most accomplished Olympic athletes and has won more medals than any other Pole in Olympic history.
Szewinska, a sprinter and long jumper, competed in five Olympics and ended up winning seven gold medals: three golds, two silvers and two bronzes. Only Robert Korzeniowski, with four, has won more gold medals in Polish Olympic history. Szewinska won a gold in the women’s 4x100m relay and silvers in the women’s 200m and long jump at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In Mexico for years later, she won her first individual gold, in the 200m, and also won a bronze in the 100m. She failed to defend her 200m crown in Munich, settling for a bronze medal. She shifted to the 400m in Montreal in 1976, and won her third gold, setting a world record of 49.29 seconds in the process. This made her the first female athlete to set world records in the 100m, 200m and 400m. She had previously broken the world records in 100m and 200m in 1965.
Szewinska competed in her last Olympics in Moscow in 1980, but was unable to win any medal.
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