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The only one who can translate David # Armwrestling #

As you already know, the chief of the Polish Armwrestling Federation referee panel, Monika Duma, has given up her position and judging as a whole. The reason – chore overload. Luckily, she had a person she could trust her title to. At the FAP congress, this honorable title was given to Judyta Wiercińska. You all know her from national and international events, both amateur and professional. But here – you will learn more. Enjoy! ()

I will start by saying that this girl, who judges the most important world competitions and local events, has a second passion… Something not so many can take pride in. What is it? It’s about scientific achievements in medicine. Achievements as important as human life. It’s not even about the titles, the PhDs. It’s about actions!

PeSzy: Judyta, tell us shortly about your scientist work…

Judyta Wiercińska:

I'm a medical physicist and work in an Oncology Center in the radiotherapy department, where I prepare individual radiation treatment plans for cancer patients. Work like that gives me a wide range of research opportunities, as progress in this field is very fast. So I started my PhD studies in medicine (even though I'm a physicist) looking for a way to improve the precision of adjuvant radiotherapy of tumor bed in breast conserving therapy. We proposed an innovative method of using hyaluronic acid hydrogel to mark the postoperative tumor bed in breast and clearly distinguish their borders in order to improve precision of radiation therapy that has to be focused only on this area. As far as we know, no one had tried such a method before, and my research was later published in a very reputable scientific journal. This was probably the biggest success of my PhD thesis (not only that I've got a title). The most important was that the method was appreciated by the scientific community and that our research has a real chance of being applied in everyday practice.

PeSzy: I’m really impressed! So now, let’s get to armwrestling. How did it start for you?

Judyta Wiercińska:

The first to get into armwrestling was my brother, Grzegorz Lasota. Soon after him I also started training. Then we also got our dad, Paweł Lasota, into it – he used to just cheer from the sidelines. Dad is still an active competitor while we cheer him on. When it comes to my starts, it’s all history, my first tries were 17 years ago. I fought for 4 years, I even reached the Polish Champion title. Then health issues followed and I go into judging so I stuck to it. And ever since then I’ve never been at the table as a competitor.

Referees impressed me ever since I first saw a competition. I found it incredibly interesting so after two years of starts when I already knew something about the sport, I decided to try it out. And just like that, it’s already been 15 years…

I had the opportunity to judge many European and World Championship, professional Vendetta duels, amateur and professional tournaments.

For a few years I was in the European referee panel and took the position of the Director for Referee Training in Europe. Now I’m a mwmber of the world referee panel, and soon we will be able to see me as the Main Referee in Poland.

Thanks to Monika I’m starting from a very well-organized system and a great team of referees.

PeSzy: Monika said that what had her fall for the life of a referee was the travelling. As far as I remember, you also mentioned some expeditions?

Judyta Wiercińska: Definitely the possibility to travel all continents is a good incentive. Add to that the ability to get to know other cultures and gaining connections all over the globe… It’s incredible that now whenever I go, even off-work, every country in the world – I can meet up with a friend from armwrestling. But above anything else – I just love being a referee!

It’s just my passion. I loved it since day one and it just kind of… stayed like that. It’s true that judging is sometimes really ungrateful, referees often get criticized, whether wrongly or rightfully. But I think that athletes can see that the referee always approaches their task seriously, fully focused and well-prepared, and that’s why some occasional mistakes can be forgiven without much fuss. It’s a sort of respect for each other – a referee does all they can to give a just verdict and the competitors appreciate their efforts.

PeSzy: Is it true that you were the only person to understand David’s English?

Judyta Wiercińska: I heard there are rumors like that… When it comes to David, I owe him a lot. Just like for Monika, David was a mentor of some sort for me and he was the one to invite me to my first European Championships in 2010. That’s how my international adventure started.

PeSzy: What was armwrestling like when you started as a referee? What is it like now? What else is there to do from the point of view of rules and regulations?

Judyta Wiercińska: It’s really interesting because both now and 15 years ago it seemed to me that the judging techniques were (and are) good as they are. And so much has changed throughout the years! Even such a basic matter like the position of the referee. Additionally, we’re now using more technology for judging, we use cameras as a substitute for the assistant referee and as an aid in figuring out conflicts. Personally, I’m all for it, after all it’s all about giving a fair judgement. I would like to add that we will all miss Monika and we hope she will visit us often!

PeSzy: Thank you for the talk and I’m sending my best new year’s wishes!

Judyta Wiercińska: All the best to our armwrestling community!

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