WARSAW, Poland, December 6. FOR the first time since she was involved in an auto accident that killed her brother, Poland’s Otylia Jedrzejczak made a public appearance on Monday. The Olympic and world champion in the 200-meter butterfly, Jedrzejczak was behind the wheel in October when her car went into a ditch and collided with a tree. Her brother, Szymon, was killed.
At a press conference, Jedrzejczak declared her intentions to return to competition, as reported last week on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com. According to an Associated Press article, Jedrzejczak was trying to overtake several cars prior to the October accident when she was forced to veer away from oncoming traffic. In avoiding the oncoming cars, she swerved into a ditch and eventually struck a tree. Jedrzejczak suffered spinal fractures and a head injury.
At last summer’s World Championships in Montreal, Jedrzejczak broke her own world record in the 200 fly when she edged Australia’s Jessicah Schipper at the wall. The victory, though, was accompanied by controversy as Jedrzejczak apparently finished with a one-hand touch. At the Athens Olympics, Jedrzejczak won gold in the 200 fly and took silver in the 100 fly and 400 freestyle.
During the press conference, Jedrzejczak did not answer questions regarding the accident due to legal issues. Last week, she was charged by prosecutors with unintentionally causing the accident. If convicted, she could face six to eight months in prison.