Robert Korzeniowski's donated shoes (© IAAF)
Race Walking legend Robert Korzeniowski of Poland, who retired from active athletics after winning his historical fourth Olympic gold medal in Athens last summer, has donated his 2003 World record breaking shoes to the IAAF Athletics for a Better World.
Korzeniowski presented the IAAF with the shoes which took him to win the 2003 Paris World Championships 50km Race Walking gold medal in a new World record time of 3:36:03.
“It is for a good cause and I want to share my World record that I got in Paris with others. Instead of keeping the shoes at home, if they can make someone happy and at the same time serve towards a good cause then, I am happy to give them up,” said Korzeniowski.
Arguably the greatest race walker of all time, 37-year-old Korzeniowski won his first World title at 50km Race Walk back in Athens 1997, just one year after taking his first Olympic crown in an breathtaking competition in Atlanta 1996.
Korzeniowski’s career went from good to extraordinary as the Polish legend won the 1998 European Championships before succeeding in winning the unprecedented 20km/50km double at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Winner of the 50km Race Walk at the Edmonton 2001 and Paris 2003 World Championships, Korzeniowski famously ended his career with the Athens Olympic gold.
Since his retirement, Korzeniowski has remained highly involved in Athletics and has taken over the coaching of Spain’s Francisco Fernandez who claimed the 20km Race Walking World silver medal at the recent Helsinki Championships.
Korzeniowski’s autographed walking shoes will be auctioned at the end of the year and all profits donated to the United Nations Associations: FAO, UNICEF and WFP.