Olympic rower to head Polish sports ministry
Poland’s new Minister of Sport and Tourism is Olympic gold medalist, Adam Korol. Korol, arguably one of Poland’s greatest rowing athletes, was named to the position on 16 June by the President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski.
Korol began rowing in 1987 at the Stoczniowiec Gdansk Rowing Club in his home town of Gdansk. Beginning international competition in 1992 at the junior level, Korol went on to attended five Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, and London 2012).
In Atlanta and Sydney he raced as a member of the men's double sculls improving Poland’s performance from 13th place in 1996 to sixth in 2000. Moving from the double sculls after the Sydney Games, Korol became an essential component of the Polish men’s quadruple sculls that missed out on bronze at Athens 2004 by 0.03 seconds and went on to take Gold in Beijing. This same crew placed sixth at the London Olympics.
In addition to Olympic accolades, Korol and team mates Marek Kolbowiscz, Michal Jelinski and Konrad Wasielewski won gold at the World Rowing Championships in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2006, World Rowing recognised the Polish men's quadruple sculls as the World Rowing Male Crew of the Year.
After London 2012, Korol hung up his oars but remained physically active, participating in major European marathons with a personal best time of 2 hours 49 minutes. But rowing remains a passion for Korol, who serves as coordinator of the youth programme for the Polish Rowing Federation.
This appointment as Minister of Sport and Tourism is just the latest challenge that Korol takes on to promote and grow sport within his native Poland. Even beyond his incredible athletic achievement, Korol has played an active role within this field since his graduation from the Academy of Physical Education in Gdansk, where he now works in the Department of Theory of Sport. Additionally, Korol chairs the Athletes’ Commission of the Polish Olympic Committee and is vice-chair of the Sports Council Gdansk.