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Some history Bodybuilding in Poland The Last Successes
Some history

     Power sports, or even fascination by esthetic side of human silhouette, reach back to the antiquity. It is demonstrated by numerous sculptures of people characteristic for their harmoniously built and athletic silhouettes. The German athlete Eugene Sandow, who performed in circus shows, at the turn of the XX century is considered to be the precursor of modern bodybuilding. Not only was he athletically built, well muscled and slim, but he also started his shows with a few minutes' demonstration of his musculature in various stances.
However, bodybuilding was popularized for good only by two brothers - Joe and William Weider, performing in Canada and the States. Their family roots reach to Poland (their grandparents). Still before the World War II they started editing a bulletin called "Your Physique", and in 1946 they founded the International Federation of Body Builders, which presently brings together 174 member-countries, and two years ago it was temporarily accepted by IOGC.
     Presently John Weider lives in Woodlands Hills in California and he is the owner of a real press empire, embracing Fitness and Bodybuilding (5 magazines). Moreover he is the co-owner of nutrient manufacture Weider Nutrition International, which has its branches in the USA and a few European countries. Ben Weider, on the other hand , has been in the spearhead of IFBB for 54 years, organizing and promoting Bodybuilding all over the world. He is probably the longest reigning president of an international sport federation. Popularity of this sport is best proved by the fact that more than 70 national teams take part in men's World Championships, and in women's contest it is more than 30.
     For many years Bodybuilding was treated as men's-only event, but as soon as women realized the profit of practicing the "iron sport" they massively started attending gyms. One of the first idols of Bodybuilding was certainly Steve Reeves, who after reaching the tittle World Champion in 1950 started a movie career. He performed in 17 films, among others, in the roles of Hercules, Goliath, Sandocan. Ten years later the "Austrian Oak"- Arnold Shwarzenegger appeared. First he dominated Bodybuilding scenes, and then he became one of the most popular Hollywood actors cast in the role of Conan, and Terminator - his greatest role. Shwarzenegger also had an adventure with politics when for a few years - after he obtained the American citizenship - he held the office of Presidential Commission of Physical Education and Sport. After Shwarzenegger's withdrawal from active sport life, the leading characters of Professional Bodybuilding were Lee Haney and Dorian Yates, and for the last two years a working policeman from Texas - Ronnie Coleman has been invincible.
     The unforgettable "First Lady" of the early Women's Bodybuilding was Rachel McLish, but Corrina Everson, who reached the tittle of the best professional bodybuilder in the world for six times did the most for popularization of this discipline among women did. Moreover she hosted many TV programs on power training and aerobics (on ESPN channel) and acted in films (among others in the series Xena). For the last four years the best professional bodybuilder of the world has been Kim Chizevski.

Bodybuilding in Poland

     Bodybuilding came to Poland owing to an editor Stanislaw Zakrzewski and his magazine "Sport dla Wszystkich", which began to appear after the political thaving in 1956. Bodybuilding fascinates him by its versatile impact on the human organism and he regards it as an excellent way to increase general health of society. Zakrzewski holds the office of vice-president in the Polish Association of Weightlifting and Bodybuilding.
     This artificial and somewhat unsuccessful union (disagreements concerning the share of funds) lasts until 1965, after which Bodybuilding goes under wings of TKKF (Society for the Propagation of Physical Culture). In the meantime(1960) GKKFiT (Chief Committee for Physical Culture and Tourism) comes to the conclusion that Bodybuilding is not a sport and only allows for recreational forms of practicing. Therefore for a dozen or so years onwards one could not organize the official Polish Championships (unofficially they were replaced by national bodybuilding contests, held annually on tennis courts in Sopot). The first winner of this competition is Andrzej Jasinski, and the leading representatives of the discipline are also Antoni Kolecki, and Przemyslaw Kwiatkowski.
     Bodybuilding becomes popular in various societies. Among others it is practiced by actors: Marian Glinka and Marek Perepeczko. Slow change of situation becomes possible only after the first official visit of the IFBB president Ben Weider in Poland in 1971. The contemporary chairman of GKKFiT (Chief Committee for Physical Culture and Tourism) Wlodzimierz Reczek gave permission for TKKF (Society for the Propagation of Physical Culture) to join IFBB. The first Polish Championships take place in Krakow in 1977. The winners in three height-categories are: Henryk Szczepanski, Andrzej Urbanski and Jerzy Furmanek. Since 1984 mixed pairs competition is introduced to the program of the Polish Championships, and since 1986 - women's competition. This year becomes another milestone in the development of Polish bodybuilding. Poland - as the first country from the group of the communist countries - organises the European Championships. They are held at "Torwar" in Warsaw on the days of Chernobyl disaster, about which nothing is yet known at the time. Our contestants win the first medals: Andrzej Cugier - gold, Pawel Filleborn - silver, and Marian Wysocki - bronze. As a result of organisational and propaganda success of these championships there is permission of sport authorities for founding The Polish Bodybuilding and Union, which comes into existence in 1989. Mieczyslaw Borowy becomes the first chairman who will hold this position for the two following terms of office. Encouraged by the success of Warsaw European Championships, the Poles undertake another difficult assignment: organising of Men's World Championships and the annual Congress of IFBB. This great prestigious performance takes place in "Spodek" in Katowice in 1991. In this case the organisational success is followed by sport success - Miroslaw Daszkiewicz becomes the first Polish Champion of the World, and Pawel Brzozka wins the bronze medal. Happy with faultless organisation of the competition, the international activists give Poland the right to organise another great event - Women's and Pairs World Championships. This time the host is Warsaw again, and the stylish "Sala Kongresowa" stands for a beautiful setting for the performance of the Amazons of our time. The Polish women are not successful yet but our very well prepared and matched pair Ewa Krynska - Pawel Brzozka wins the title of the World Champion.

The Last Successes

     Later on Ewa Krynska decides to become a mother and comes back to competing only in 1998, exactly when Poles organize in Plonsk the first European Championships for women and pairs and for women in fitness. Her come back is very successful, as she takes home the gold medal. Polish pairs make not a mean achievement winning all three medals: gold - Halina Kunicka and Piotr Gluchowski, silver - Ewa Krynska and Andrzej Maszewski and bronze - Elzbieta Borecka and Mariusz Strzelinski. The Polish women also become successful in Fitness - the youngest discipline introduced by IFBB in 1996. In Plonsk Aleksanra Kobielak reaches the tittle of European Champion, and Ewelina Cichon and Joanna Kurzacz take sixth positions. Following their example, Kobielak wins in autumn 1998 the silver medal of World Championships in Alicante.
     The run of luck is continued in the year 1999. At the European Championships in Essen Halina Kunicka wins the silver medal 57 kg category and the pair Joanna Krupa - Juliusz Mielik become the best pair of Europe. Our leading stars (Krynska, Kobielak) do not compete getting ready for the Autumn World Championships in Sydney. The trip to Antipodes became the trip of her life. First she wins the heavyweight category (+57kg), and then category open in which all three winners of all three categories compete. Having changed her dress Ewa comes to the stage with Pawel Brzoska, in order to fight fo regaining the tittles of World Champions won in 1993. In the years 1993 - 98 this pair did not compete because Pawel was focusing on individual competition, wining in 1996 the tittle of European Champion and repeatedly qualifying for the final in World Championships.
Their performance is very successful and it ends up with reclaiming the tittle. Wining in Sydney the tittle of the best contestant of the whole Championships (open) Krynska attains the right to turn professional and to compete in the Ms Olympia contest (without qualifications). She postpones this decision as she also wants to stand on the highest podium in Warsaw. Aleksandra Kobielak is also in a very good shape in Sydney but in spite of winning both silhouette rounds she only gets the bronze (cat. 160cm), as the judges poorly evaluated her artistic free program. She makes up for this misfortune in the European Championships in Torremolinos in May this year becoming the champion of the continent. During the contest another Fitness star of ours reveals itself - Kamila Porczyk, who wins the silver in higher category (+160) in her first international contest. Spain is also lucky for our lightest bodybuilder - Joanna Krupa.As a talented junior she won twice the bronze medal in World Junior Championships, but after reaching the adult category she had to wait for her success considerably long. In Torremolinos Krupa wins the bronze medal in 52kg category.


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