- Justyna Kowalczyk-Tekieli has quit her job as sports director at the Polish Biathlon Association
- It was such a great time, I met a lot of wonderful people. I saw sports from the other side, the organizational side – the two-time Olympic champion says
- I have never experienced a lack of activities. I’m going to Dachstein Glacier on Friday. I have a young child and a husband who travel constantly, so there is something to be done – he reveals his plans for the near future
- You can read more interesting stories on the new PrzegladSportowy.Onet.pl website. Checks out!
Kamil Wolnicki: Ms. Justyna, why did you leave your job as Sports Director for the Polish Biathlon Union?
Justina Kowalczyk: There were many situations for this. First of all, those related to Siarhei Dalidovich (Belarus, seven-time Olympian, fled to Poland from the regime of Alexander Lukashenka and worked as an assistant. His 17-year-old daughter, Daria, changed gears to biathlon, and after the change of union powers, she was forbidden to train with the youth team and trips with her father to training camps. (The new chief said in an interview with Przegląd Sportowy Onet that there was no doubt about that – editor’s note.) In addition, there are situations from the Polish Figure Skating Championships, which I do not want to talk about now, because they are very new. Anyway, I quit because I don’t want to work under these conditions. I do not adapt to such situations.
Does this all have to do with the new head of the union, Mrs. Joanna Badacz, who has replaced Zbigniew Wakevich? I started biathlon at the instigation of the latter.
I came to the guild by inviting him and persuading him. I believed in his plan. At some point, he came to the conclusion that he didn’t always make the right choices and gave me a lot of freedom to act. I implemented my conclusions after a few months of work. However, the president is no longer the president of the union, the board of directors has partly changed and my ideas are no longer viewed in the same way. I can’t be assertive anymore, and I don’t want to force anything.
Weren’t you on your way with the new boss?
The CEO adapted very quickly to the new position and is already doing well. In the first moment, after the election, there were feelings and the idea that I had nothing to do there, but after a few conversations with her, I decided that you should give yourself a chance. It’s just that the President is something, and behind her are other democratically elected people. And with part of the new board, I could not find a common language.
The former coach of the national team, Adam Kolodczyk, is somewhere in the background of this situation? I’m asking because I know your cooperation was not going well.
Mr. Kołodziejczyk has not officially appeared on the matter. He works with the Bulgarian national team and seems to be busy with work.
Don’t you pity these many months of work?
It’s a pity because I got really close to the guys. I think they have great potential. I often told President Waśkiewicz about it that everything that was wrong with the Polish biathlon was not their fault, some things should be approached differently and then the results would be much better. At the end of his work, he finally agreed with me and gave me his hand. Our players, women and men, are people who are not very successful, but very humble and hardworking. They must be directed in the right direction, so that they do what will bring results. Hope all goes well after all. The female and male trainers remained, namely the Norwegians Tobias Torgersen and Ravi Lebel. Maybe the sun will rise after the storm, I keep my fingers crossed. I was touched when the Board of Directors received a letter of support following news of the situation. It was signed by the vast majority of players, and it really took a lot of courage, because I know some of them were between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, we did not succeed in rectifying this situation, and we had to separate.
So, what is it now?
I have never experienced a lack of activities. I’m going to Dachstein Glacier on Friday. I have a young child and a husband who travels constantly, so there is a lot to do. I also help train Issa Marchesses. So much of it, and because of the sheer volume of chapters, I stopped writing. Now I hope to get back to that.
Aren’t you drawn to your coaching and management business on a larger scale?
When it comes to the other side of sports, being an activist or whatever you call it, I’m definitely not into it and won’t be for long. But when it comes to grassroots action, I’m going to be a trader all the time, formal or not. I don’t know if I would get into a strong relationship with anyone. There was no time to think because everything happens so quickly. But I don’t think I want my child to spend the first years of his life in hotels and training camps. We will sit at home.
Finally – do you regret your biathlon adventure?
of course not. It was such a great time, I met a lot of wonderful people. I saw sports from the other side, the organizational side. A place where the interests and interests of different people, clubs and clubs are located. Sometimes you have to find money out of nowhere, and so on. Before that, especially as a top-tier competitor, I wasn’t very familiar with everything. Today I know it and… I have healed myself for a long time from being an activist. I’m sorry I failed, but at the same time it’s nice to feel like I’ve been fighting for the guys and they know it.
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