Edith  Mendyka & Karen Huff

Edith  Mendyka was born  in Berlin, Germany in 1910.

She began throwing the javelin  as a youngster. She belonged to Sports Club Charlottenberg, a well known and  still active sports club in Berlin.

Edith also played  team (field) handball. These two sports were her passion and she was very  successful.

She was on the all German  National Team Handball team and competed for Germany throughout Europe.

Her team won  the German national championships 7 times. In 1936 she competed in the Olympic  games in Berlin in team handball - it was a demonstration sport that year. 

She tried out for the Olympic  team in the javelin but placed 4th in the trials, Germany placed 1st, 2nd and  3rd in the women's javelin in 1936. Competition was fierce at that time.  Edith came to America 4 years later in 1940.

Edith was amazed  that there was so little opportunity for women in America in athletics.  Edith was part of the group that founded the  master's program in California. She won a number of State Javelin titles in  California and in 1959 her daughter Karen Mendyka beat her for that  title.

Edith competed for many years at the Master's level and passed away in 1996.

In 1999  she was voted  into the USA T & F MASTERS HALL OF FAME

Edith encouraged her  daughter Karen to throw, and as a child Karen went with her to all the  Track Meets.

In 1960 Karen won the Girls  National title, placed 2nd in the Women's division at the National meet and  placed 3rd in the Olympic trials. She missed the qualifying Olympic standard by  9 inches, (standard was 160 ft. 9 1/2 in.) Karen threw 160 ft. 1/2 in.  and did not go to Rome. In 1962 Karen won the Wome's Nationals for USA.

Karen has been  competing  at the masters level for 14 years and has won 5 Master's championships in the javelin. Unfortunately a shoulder injury caused by a fall while ice skating  with her grandaughter and subsequent arthroscopic  surgery will keep her out of competition this year. Hope are high for a complete recovery.,

1