Wajsowna, Jadwiga : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Wajsowna, Jadwiga

Pana Weiss

track and field

Country Represented:

Years Competed:
1932, 1936

Medals Received:
silver, bronze

Olympic Info:
Wajsnowna was a member of the Polish track and field team in two Olympiads in the 1930s, competing in the women's discus throw. At the 1932 Los Angeles Games, Wajsowna won the bronze medal in the discus throw with a toss of 38.74-meters (127'1-1/2"); Lillian Copeland won the gold medal in the event.

Jadwiga returned to the Olympics at the 1936 Berlin Games and won the silver medal in the same event. Her best throw was 46.22-meters (151'7 1/2"), 1.41-meters behind the winner; she was 6.42-meters ahead of the bronze medalist.

Career Highlights:
Wajsowna was one of the world's best female discus throwers in the 1930s. In May 1932, she broke the world record in the discus three times in a span of only eight days; the old record had been held by 1928 Olympic champion Helena Konopacka for four years. Over the next two years, Jadwiga would break the world record another seven times! In August 1934, she broke the record twice on the same day to win the gold medal at the Women's World Games.

The Games began in 1922 after the IAAF's refusal to include women's track and field at the 1924 Olympic Games. Initially called the Women's Olympic Games, the 1922 Games consisted of five countries. The name was changed to the World Games after the IAAF and IOC complained and were held in 1926, 1930, and 1934; in 1936, the IAAF took full control of women's international track and field. At the 1946 European Championships, Jadwiga capped off a fabulous career by winning the bronze medal.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 30, 1912 - d. 1990


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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
New York Times, August 5, 1936