Olympic Medals
Games Participations2
First Olympic GamesMontreal 1976
Year of Birth1956


Jacek Wszoła was born into a sporting family and started training as a high jumper at a young age under the guidance of his father Roman. Wszoła first competed internationally at the 1974 European Championships, where the 17-year-old youngster finished a surprising fifth. Wszoła won his first honors a year later, with gold at the 1975 European Junior Championships. The high point of Wszoła’s career came at the 1976 Olympics, where he won an upset gold medal on a cold and rainy day, defeating the favorite Dwight Stones, who took bronze. In 1977, Wszoła also captured gold at the European Indoor Championships and Universiade and bronze in World Cup.

In the following years, Wszoła’s performance dropped somewhat, as he managed only sixth place at the 1978 European Championships, fourth at the 1979 Universiade and silver at the 1979 World Cup. During the 1980 Olympic season, however, he was again in his best, winning silver at the 1980 European Indoor Championships and jumping a world record of 2.35 just two months before the Olympics. At the Games, Wszoła took silver, losing out to East German Gerd Wessig, who bettered Wszoła’s world record with 2.36. Just a month after the Olympics, Wszoła ruptured his ankle ligaments at a meet in Poznań and was out of competition for 18 months. After his return, he never attained his previous heights. Domestically he won 11 Polish outdoor titles (1974-80, 1982, 1984-85, 1988) and 9 Polish indoor titles (1976-81, 1984, 1986-87).

After finishing his sporting career, Wszoła worked as an athletics coach in Poland, Sweden and Ireland, before setting up his own sports shop in Ursynów, the southernmost district of Warszawa. In 1999, he was one of the founders of the network of fitness clubs called Fitness Klub Gymnasion, and also worked as an athletics commentator with Polish TV. Wszoła has also continued competing at the masters level and won the high jump gold medal at the 1997 European Indoor Masters Championships in M44 category.

Personal Best: HJ – 2.35 (1980).

Olympic Results

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