Польша / Poland

Poland were first officially represented at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games.

Their cyclists took silver in the 4,000m team pursuit and Adam KROLIKIEWICZ claimed bronze in showjumping on the same day.

Athletics has proved the most successful sport for Poland. Discus thrower Halina KONOPACKA was Poland's first gold medal winner when she triumphed at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam.

Janusz KUZOCINSKI was the first man to win a gold for Poland when he took 10,000m gold in Los Angeles in 1932.

Stanis?awa WALASIEWICZ won the women's 100m in 1932 and also took silver in 1936 and was considered the outstanding sprinter in women's athletics in the 1930s.

Jozef SZMIDT won gold in the men's triple jump in 1960 and 1964.

Irina SZEWINSKA won three gold medals, all in world record times. She was part of the Polish 4x100m relay squad in 1964, won the 200m in 1968, and the 400m at the 1976 Games in Montreal. She competed in five consecutive Olympic Games from 1964 to 1980 and later became an IOC member in Poland.

Jacek WSZOLA was a shock winner of the 1976 men's high jump and added a silver medal in 1980. Tadeusz SLUSARSKI won gold in 1976 and silver in 1980 in the men's pole vault.

The late Bronislaw MALINOWSKI was a silver medallist in the men's 3,000m steeplechase at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. He won gold in the same event at Moscow 1980. Robert Marek KORZENIOWSKI dominated race walking at the turn of the 21st century. He won 50km gold in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and also won the 20km in Sydney.

Poland have a fine tradition in fencing. Jerzy PAWLOSKI competed in five successive Olympic Games from 1952 to 1976. He won individual sabre gold in 1968 and also collected three silver medals and a bronze in his career.

The tradition continued in Munich in 1972 where Witold WOYDA won foil gold in individual and team events.

The Olympic Games in Munich proved fruitful for other Polish athletes. Wladislav KOMAR took an unexpected gold in the men's shot and their finest generation of footballers also won gold in 1972, beating Hungary in the final.

They went on to perform impressively at the 1974 FIFA World Cup where they lost to eventual winners West Germany in the second group stage (there were no semifinals).

The squad also reached the final of the 1976 Olympic tournament where they lost to the German Democratic Republic. Janusz PECIAK's gold in modern pentathlon at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games came after a dramatic five-day competition, and in 1988 in Seoul, Arkadiusz SKRZYPASZEK won individual gold and led his country to the team event. In Beijing, Tomasz MAJEWSKI won gold in the men's shot put , and Leszek BLANIK became the first Polish gymnast to win Olympic gold, winning the vault.

At the rowing regatta, Poland won the men's quadruple sculls. Poland have never staged an Olympic Games but have hosted IOC sessions in 1937 and 1969.