Sunday saw the closing ceremony of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, during which Poland achieved its best Olympic successes since the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
In Tokyo, the Polish team won 14 medals. Most were won by Poland's athletes: 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Poland sent 428 people to the games, including 211 participants. The Polish team took part in 137 out of 339 events in 28 disciplines.
In total Poland took home 4 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals.
One of the surprise successes at the Tokyo Olympics was Polish athlete Dawid Tomala, who won gold in the 50 km walk.
Tomala has spoken of the difficulties he has faced in pursuing his athletics career, including working on a building site while being trained for free by his father. At one stage, the 31-year-old almost quit the sport due to a lack of funding.
Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, announced that after hearing Tomala’s story – which reads “like a movie script” – he had asked Totalizator Sportowy, a state-owned gambling firm, to sponsor the athlete.
“His great optimism had infected millions of people, although his path to the top was not easy,” wrote Morawiecki alongside a photo of Tomala with his medal in front of the logo of his new sponsor. “We want his fantastic sports story to continue, but without the need to earn money after training [to afford] his sporting passion.”
Hammer-throwing champ Anita Włodarczyk has joined a distinguished list of ‘inspirational women’ after being turned into a Shero Barbie doll.
The three-time gold medal winner, four-time world champion and multiple world record holder in the hammer throw was recognised for her “inspiration to others” in pursuing their dreams.
Shero Barbies, an amalgam of the words ‘She’ and ‘Hero’ are produced by the same company that produces the original Barbie dolls, Mattel.
The idea of the Shero Barbie, a global initiative which has since been awarded to 50 women from 18 countries since 2015, came from the company’s desire to do something to reduce the ‘Dream Gap’, the idea that girls around the age of 5 lose their self-confidence and faith in their own abilities, which can impact them for years.
Włodarczyk is the third Polish women to be honoured with a Shero Barbie after journalist and explorer Martyna Wojciechowska in 2018 and career truck driver Iwona Blecharczyk, in 2019.