NEWS: Former World Ladies Champion strikes gold for the 3rd time
Graham Sutton has sent in this translation of an extract of an article which has been published in the Polish Media regarding former Women’s World Champion Anita Wlodarczyk:
Thanks to her third gold Olympic gold, the athlete Anita Włodarczyk is today in the languages of all Poland. The XXXII Summer Olympics in Tokyo are the fourth in which the Rawicz woman performs. However, her sports path began with a speed bike.
A throw of 78.48 meters gave Anica Włodarczyk the third Olympic gold in her career. Before she was on the top of the podium in Tokyo, Anita had already done so in London and Rio de Janeiro. Who is Anita Włodarczyk for Polish sport? A living legend that is widely respected by fans not only of athletics. A good proof of this is the victory of the Rawicz athlete in the Plebiscite of “Przegląd Sportowy” in 2016.
The three-time Olympic champion was born on August 8, 1985 in Rawicz. Her adventure with the queen of sport began in 2001 at the Kadet Rawicz club. In addition to the successes achieved at the Olympics, its extensive collection includes, among others four world titles from the 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 seasons and four gold medals of the European championship, which she won in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, respectively.
Before Włodarczyk became one of the most famous sportswomen in our country, she used to race speedbikes in the colors of Pavart in Rawicz. For many years, the president of this club was Anita’s father – Andrzej, and her brother Karol was a bronze medalist in the individual world championships in 1999. The athlete herself also has speedbiking successes. In 1998, Anita was part of the gold team at the European Junior Team Championship in Poole, England. A season later, during the world championship in Rawicz, the Olympic athlete was happy for the individual women’s world champion.
The Polish representative still remembers about the adventure from her youth and regularly visits speedbike tracks during her travels, which she boasts on social media. This year Anita Włodarczyk visited Świętochłowice, and two years ago the facility in Poole. She also talked about her passion for speedbike during a conversation with Przemysław Babiarz for TVP Sport, then she stated that she owes her character to this discipline. And without it, it would be hard to win the highest laurels. Below is an excerpt from the aforementioned conversation about the speedbike:
Przemysław Babiarz: Rawicz is also a city of sport. Sports clubs, your passion earlier, because let’s remind you that you started with a speedbike, i.e. from competition related to cycling, you even achieved the European Championship in the team in this field as a junior.
Anita Włodarczyk: – Yes, it is. I was lucky to have been involved in sports since I was a child. In my hometown of Rawicz there was an athletics club, so when I wanted to start training athletics, I didn’t have to travel anywhere. It was cool because if I didn’t have this club here, I don’t know if I would be an athlete now or get where I am now. Rawicz is a city where sport comes first, including speedway and athletics. It is also worth adding that Robert Maćkowiak, an excellent athlete, also comes from my hometown. I’m glad this city is there. However, when I meet people, everyone associates this city with a prison. I am glad that I can promote the city and prove that you can also become a great sportsman from a small town.
Are any of these cycling successes left over? Do you sometimes ride a bike?
– No. It is true that since I finished my speedbike career, I did not get on the bike later. Unfortunately, today there is no speedbike club. Thanks to the fact that I was training speed bike, it also helped me a lot. I am happy that I had the opportunity to practice this sport as well. It was true that my brother was driving, and it was actually family. Dad was the President, mom was the secretary and whenever my parents went to the competition, and there is a six-year difference between my brother and me, you know, I will not stay at home and they would take me with them. One day I realized that I also want to move, try this discipline and that’s how my adventure with speedbike started. I was the only girl who rode and raced guys. This sport also taught me character, because I became so brave.
Speedrower. We cannot really illustrate what these professions look like. This is track racing?
– Yes, the discipline is similar to speedway, with the difference that you ride not on a motorbike, but on a special bike. There are definitely shorter tracks, as they are from seventy to one hundred or one hundred and ten meters.