A long time ago when computers still were so big, when their monitors were so heavy and uncomfortable that only Igor Mazurenko (in his best shape) could carry such a monitor... A long time ago... Which is hard to believe now – armwrestling competitions were executed on sheets of paper. ()
As usual with this article series I will start with an anecdote. Before competition Igor asked if I could help as a secretary. I agreed with no hesitation! I didn't have any doubts. I'd already led powerlifting and weights before, and I'd been a referee in other disciplines. What could be so difficult about armwrestling competitions? Oh, let me tell you, there could be a lot! Up to two losses! Oh, Dear God! Oh, Guardian of Justice, oh, blind Themis! Being a secretary for this competition was the most challenging work for me since the defense of my master's thesis!
Yes, it was a long time ago. And then Marcin Mielniczuk, whom I want to present to you again, showed up. I've written here LINK before about Marcin's role in the directing process of a sports event, about putting together and coordinating a complicated procedure of creating a show. Now about his role in the creation of a computer software for executing armwrestling competitions. I'm going to say it now – it IS a material promoting PAF and the Mazurenko Armwrestling Promotion crew. I'm not going to hide my intentions – I want the whole world to know that WE, here in Gdynia, in Poland, had a significant input into what our sport is today! I know a bit about sport and in my opinion there is no other sports discipline like that in which us, Polish people, hold so much real and concrete credit for technical aspects. If anyone knows another discipline like that – please let me know.
Let's get to the point and to the interview with Marcin. First question – was it you who invented the “bejdżyk”, an identifier?
Marcin Mielniczuk: It would have been nice but it wasn't me. It's true that when I joined the Federation, the competitions were executed on paper. I asked myself – why don't we move to the digital era right now? We already had computers, after all. I wrote the software with Kuba Sierpiński. Our goal was to replace careful, focused but faulty referees through leaving all the work to a computer. The software was created, we tested it at a small competition, then on a bigger one, and then at a master's level competition too. Afterwards we made efforts to eliminate any bugs and errors.
Our most common mistake was that the person pressed the wrong name – because the athlete appeared on the wrong side of the table and after the duel they were denoted incorrectly.