The Legacy of Halina Konopacka – a Pioneer of Female Sport

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



The Legacy of Halina Konopacka – a Pioneer of Female Sport

Michał Mazurkiewicz



Sport heroes have always made a powerful impact both on individual fans and on whole nations. They constitute an important element of the history of sport and history in general. Halina Konopacka, one of the early pioneers of female sport, was the first woman who won the Olympic gold in track and field (discus throw, in 1928). She was also Poland’s first Olympic gold medal winner. Consequently, she became an embodiment of success in the newborn Polish state and one of the first interwar celebrities. The aim of the paper is to present Konopacka’s rich and multi-aspect legacy, as she was not only an outstanding sportswoman, but also an appreciated poet and painter. The results demonstrate the importance of female contribution to broadly understood culture and can prove highly beneficial and further research. As for the methodology, the examination has been based on the analysis of numerous sports press reports, interviews and fans’ opinions, as well as Konopacka’s utterances and biographies; in short – on historical primary and secondary sources.

keywords: Konopacka, sport history, Polish sport, athletics, literature