And the Sports Personality of the Year 1926 title goes to…
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And the Sports Personality of the Year 1926 title goes to…

Boxing, football, athletics. Sport became a powerful tool in rebuilding the nation’s spirit after regaining independence post World War I. It is, therefore, not surprising that a sports periodical Przeglad Sportowy [Sports Digest] soon picked up the idea of its Swedish equivalent Svenska Dagbladets. The initiative caught on so well that the gala, first held in 1926, is still popular to this day.

Among the first, historical winners were well known and admired sportsmen and sportswoman: Waclaw Kuchar (3255 votes), Halina Konopacka (3033 votes), and Antoni Cejzik (2859 votes). The differences between the number of votes they received were very little indeed.

The 1926 winner was a versatile sportsman who took part in the Olympic Games. He was an athlete, a hockey player, a football player and more. He was also the Manager of Dynamo Lviv FC. In the 1927 edition of Sports Personality of the Year Kuchar placed 10th. Besides being an exceptional sportsman Waclaw Kuchar was also a lieutenant within the artillery division of the Polish Army. His short biogram published in 1926, right after he had been awarded the Sports Personality title stated that “Waclaw Kuchar distinguished himself during the Ukrainian and Bolshevik war when he volunteered to fight in the artillery division of Lviv. In this way his passion for sport and love of his mother country were appreciated by the readers of Przeglad Sportowy“.

Halina Konopacka was the first Polish Olympic gold medallist. She began her career in skiing, however, her talent was soon spotted by French coach – Maurice Baquet. In 1928, during the Olympic Games in Amsterdam, she set the world record in discus throw – a distance of 39.62 meters – and won the first Olympic gold medal for Poland. 27 Polish champion titles in a number of disciplines testify to her incredible sports potential. She was chosen as Sports Personality of the Year in 1927 and 1928.

Antoni Cejzik, the second runner-up, was also an athlete. He won eight USSR champion titles – mainly in running.  He took part in two Olympic Games where he competed in the decathlon coming in 11th in Paris (1924), and 18th in Amsterdam (1928). He set the record for Poland 23 times in such disciplines as relay, triple jump, shot put, discus throw, pentathlon, and decathlon. He was crowned Polish champion 26 times.

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