Former sprinter Ewa Kłobukowska and boxer Marian Kasprzyk were each awarded the Commander's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order on Tuesday for their outstanding sporting achievements and for promoting Olympic values, state news agency PAP reported.
Kłobukowska won bronze in the women’s 100m and then helped the Polish relay team win gold in the 4x100m event at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Sprinter Ewa Kłobukowska wins gold for Poland in the women's 4x100m relay at the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics. Photo: PAP/CAF
Meanwhile, Kasprzyk competed at three Olympic Games, winning boxing bronze in the men’s light welterweight category in Rome in 1960 and then becoming the welterweight Olympic champion in Tokyo in 1964.
“Just days before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, we are returning to the first Tokyo Olympic Games 57 years ago,” Polish Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, who is also minister for culture, national heritage and sport, said during Tuesday’s awards ceremony in Warsaw.
“Thank you for your achievements and beautiful sports career,” he added, as he handed the decoration to Kasprzyk.
"Thank you very much. I am very touched," said Kasprzyk, who is now 81.
Kłobukowska, now 74, could not attend the ceremony due to health issues. Her medal was collected by the head of the Association of Polish Olympic Athletes, Mieczysław Nowicki.
Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, who is also Poland's minister for culture, national heritage and sport, hands out the state awards at a ceremony in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Albert Zawada
Kłobukowska later told public broadcaster Polish Radio that the state award “complemented” her Olympic medal.
“It is a big honour for me, especially because it is Polish,” she said.
“Everything I did, I did for my country, for Poland,” she added.
Polish athletes won a total of 23 medals, including seven gold, at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
Source: PAP, IAR