Updated 3 August 2008
Kamila SKOLIMOWSKA, Poland (Hammer Throw)
Born 4 November 1982, Warsaw
1.80m / 105 kg
Coach: Pyotr Zaytsau (Belarus)
Club: Skra Warszawa
By the age of only 18, Kamila Skolimowska had already secured her future pension. How did she do it? By executing just one very good Hammer throw at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Once the result of 71.16m was officially announced, no more procedures were needed.
The International Olympic Committee awarded Skolimowska a gold medal and, when she is 35, she will be able to get a pension resulting from a special regulation which exists in Poland. Fortunately, Skolimowska does not need any pension yet. She still earns from throwing a hammer. Besides that, she has already started her new job as a policewoman and works in the police station in Piaseczno, near Warsaw.
Kamila’s father, Robert Skolimowski, was a super heavyweight athlete, winning weightlifting bronze medals at the 1986 World Championships and Goodwill Games, and finishing seventh in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, . Three decades ago he was considered one of the strongest men in the world. Her mother, Teresa Wenta, played handball in the top division of the National League, being also very strong.
The daughter of such an exceptional couple followed their example. First, she tried rowing then switched to Hammer throwing, which was a newly introduced female athletics event. Fifteen years after Skolimowski won his Goodwill Games bronze, his daughter took Goodwill Games gold, in the Hammer in Brisbane.
In 1996, Skolimowska became youngest ever national champion and record holder at the age of 13. Her very first guru was Zbigniew Palyszko, who coached Kamila and his son Maciej together. After having won gold in Sydney, Skolimowska became one of the most recognised sports personalities in Poland, interviewed by all the media. The city of Warsaw offered her a complimentary apartment.
Skolimowska graduated in economics at the Warsaw University and began a new life as a self-made woman. She escaped from under the wings of Palyszko. Czeslaw Cybulski, who became her new coach, also trained the 2000 Olympic men’s champion in the Hammer Throw, Szymon Ziolkowski.
Both Sydney winners were very glad to work as training partners. But nothing lasts forever. In 2004, Cybulski unexpectedly resigned from his post in the national athletics federation, leaving the two champions without a trainer. Cybulski was replaced by Piotr Zaytsau (in the former transcription: Pyotr Zaytsev).
Under the new coach, Skolimowska improved her personal best year by year but remained mainly unsuccessful at the championships, with the exception of the 2006 European Championships, in Göteborg, where she won a bronze medal. Skolimowska still has many problems with her technique and struggles to keep her weight down. Nevertheless, she remains capable of executing a surprising throw to win another Olympic gold at Beijing 2008.
1996: 47.66; 1997: 63.48; 1998: 67.72; 1999: 66.62; 2000: 71.16; 2001: 71.71; 2002: 72.60; 2003: 71.38; 2004: 72.57; 2005: 74.27; 2006: 75.29; 2007: 76.83; 2008: 73.50
1997 1st European Junior Championships (Ljubljana) 59.72
1998 7th European Championships (Budapest) 62.68
1999 1st World Youth Championships (Bydgoszcz) 63.94
2000 1st Olympic Games (Sydney) 71.16
2001 4th World Championships (Edmonton) 68.05
1st Goodwill Games (Brisbane) 70.31
2002 2nd European Championships (Munich) 72.46
5th World Cup (Madrid) 65.24
2003 8th World Championships (Paris) 68.39
1st European Under-23 Championships 71.38
2004 5th Olympic Games (Sydney) 72.57
2005 7th World Championships (Helsinki) 68.96
1st World University Games (Izmir) 72.75
2006 3rd European Championships (Göteborg) 72.58
1st World Cup (Athens) 75.29
2007 4th World Championships (Osaka) 73.75
Prepared by Maciej Petruczenko for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2008