Tadeusz Ślusarski was the world’s best pole vaulter in the late 1970s. He started in athletics doing sprints, high jump and long jump, but took up pole vaulting while studying at the Automotive Secondary Technical School of Żary from 1964-69. After finishing sixth at the 1968 European Junior Championships, Ślusarski débuted as a senior at the 1972 Olympics, where he reached the final, but missed his opening height of 5.00 metres in the final. The high point of his career came at the 1976 Olympics, when he surprisingly won Olympic gold in a tight competition against Antti Kalliomäki and Dave Roberts. At the 1980 Olympics, Ślusarski won silver behind the favorite, Władysław Kozakiewicz.
Besides his Olympic medals, Ślusarski also won European indoor titles in 1974 and 1978 and silver at the 1977 Universiade. He competed at the inaugural 1983 World Championships, finishing fourth and at the 1974, 1978 and 1982 European Championships, where his best finish was seventh in 1974. Domestically Ślusarski was the Polish outdoor champion in 1972, 1974, 1975, 1982 and 1983 and indoor champion in 1976, 1978, 1983 and 1984.
After finishing his sporting career in 1988, Ślusarski worked as an athletics coach and high school physical education teacher in Otwock, near Warszawa. On the evening of 17 August 1998, Ślusarski and Olympic shot put champion Władysław Komar and former sprinter Krzysztof Świostek were returning from the Eugeniusz Pietrasika Memorial Cup, held in Międzyzdroje, when their car, driven by Ślusarski, collided with a car trying to pass them near the village of Ostromice on road E65. Ślusarski and Komar died on the scene, while the driver of the other car, former long sprinter Jarosław Marzec, died four days later in hospital. Świostek and Marzec’s wife Agnieszka survived the crash. Since 1999 a memorial tournament in memory of Ślusarski and Komar has been held in Międzyzdroje.
Personal Best: PV – 5.70 (1983).
Athlete Olympic Results Content