Szewinska, Irena

Szewińska, Irena,

1946–2018, Polish sprinter and long jumper, b. Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia) as Irena Kirszenstein, grad. Univ. of Warsaw, 1970. In her first Olympics (1964), she won silver in the 200-m race and long jump, and gold in the 4×100-m relay. She won gold in the 200-m and bronze in the 100-m at the 1968 games, bronze in the 200-m in 1972, and gold in the 4×100-m in 1976. With seven Olympic medals and 10 world records, Szewińska was considered to be the best female athlete of her generation. She is also the only athlete, male or female, to have held a world record in the 100-m, 200-m, and 4×100-m events. An advocate for women in sport, Szewińska was a member of the International Olympic Committee, the Polish Women's Sport Association, and the International Association of Athletics Federations' women's committee.
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