Who is Justyna Kowalczyk?
According to Poland’s national public relations people, she’s the nation’s best cross country skier.
Quite an honour – why?
She’s just won the Tour de Ski tournament for the fourth time running.
Where and when?
In January 2013, at Val di Fiemme. She finished the 9km course 28 seconds ahead of her nearest rivals.
So she’s pretty good?
Oh, you could say that. She’s got 23 World Cup wins, two World Cup Finale wins, 14 Tour de Ski wins overall, and ten Olympic medals, including three gold and three silver.
She must have been doing this for a long time.
Not as long as you might think. Kowalczyk’s medals have all come since 2001.
A real role model, then, for Poland’s youngsters.
Well, there was a bit of a problem back in 2005, when she was disqualified for her use of dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug. However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport later accepted her explanation that she had used the drug for medical reasons, not to enhance her performance.
Justyna Kowalczyk was born on January 19, 1983, in Limanowa. She represents the club AZS AWF in Katowice.