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The Warsaw Voice » Society » March 4, 2009
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Shocking Death of Former Champion
March 4, 2009   
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Kamila Skolimowska, 26, the Sydney Olympics champion in the hammer throw, died unexpectedly Feb. 18 in Portugal where she was staying with the Polish national athletic team.

Skolimowska fainted in a gym, was revived and got into an ambulance unassisted, but lost consciousness again. Attempts to resuscitate her, which lasted an hour, were unsuccessful.

An autopsy showed that Skolimowska died of a pulmonary embolism. Her father Robert Skolimowski, a former weightlifter, said he believes genetic problems may also have played a role in her death. Kamila's uncle Edward Wenta, a brother of her mother Teresa and a former discus thrower, died in a similar way in September 2008.

Skolimowska was born in Warsaw in November 1982. In March 1996, she started training in the hammer. After only two months, she smashed the national record for senior female hammer throwers and became Poland's youngest female record-holder.

From 1996 she regularly won Polish championship titles. In 1997, she was the European junior champion and in 1999 the world youth champion. In 2000, she won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics, where she was the only competitor to exceed 70 meters in the finals. With a throw of 71.16 meters, she beat the national record and the world junior record.

She failed to win more medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships. She finished fourth at the World Championships in Edmonton in 2001 and Osaka in 2007. In 2004, she finished fifth at the Athens Olympics. Four years later, in Beijing, she went over the line three times in the final, failing to register a valid throw. But she was successful at European championships. In 2002, she won a silver medal and in 2006 a bronze medal.
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