Japan honours former Polish athlete Szewińska
PR dla Zagranicy
Legendary Polish athlete Irena Szewińska has been honoured with one of the highest Japanese distinctions – the Order of the Rising Sun.
Irena Szewińska. Photo: Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry)/Wikimedia Commons
The Japanese embassy in Warsaw said in a statement that ever since she took part in the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 1964, Szewińska has maintained close contacts with Japanese sportsmen and made an active contribution to the development of friendly relations between the two countries.
As a member of the International Olympic Committee, Szewińska played a key role in 2014 in organizing Polish events marking the 50th anniversary of the Tokyo games.
It was in Tokyo in 1964 that Szewińska, then 18, rocketed to international fame after winning three Olympic medals: a silver in the long jump and 200 metres, and gold as part of the Polish 4x100m relay team.
In later years, she added four more Olympic medals to her tally, becoming the fastest female runner of her time. She also scored spectacular successes in the long jump.
Earlier this year Szewińska received the Order of the White Eagle, the highest Polish state distinction.
Among other recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun is the late Polish film director Andrzej Wajda.