Liese Prokop

Liesel ("Liese") Prokop-Sykora (27 March 1941 – 31 December 2006) was an Austrian athlete who competed mainly in the pentathlon and, later in her life, a politician.

Liese Prokop
Liese Prokop Wien.jpg
Foto: June, 2006
Minister of the Interior
In office
22 December 2004 – 31 December 2006
PresidentHeinz Fischer
ChancellorWolfgang Schüssel
Preceded byErnst Strasser
Succeeded byWolfgang Schüssel (Acting)
Personal details
Born(1941-03-27)27 March 1941
Tulln District, Austria
Died31 December 2006(2006-12-31) (aged 65)
Sankt Pölten, Austria
Political partyPeople's Party
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
Liese Prokop
Medal record
Representing  Austria
Women’s Athletics
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1968 Mexico City Pentathlon
European Championships
Gold medal – first place 1969 Athens Pentathlon
Gold medal – first place 1967 Tokyo Pentathlon


Born as Liese Sykora in Tulln District, Lower Austria, on 27 March 1941, she graduated from the University of Vienna with a degree in biology and sport.[1][2] In 1965 she married her former coach, Gunnar Prokop. The couple had two sons and a daughter.[2] in 1967, she became student world champion in Tokyo.[2] She competed for Austria in the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City, Mexico in the Pentathlon where she won the silver medal.[3] In 1969, she became European champion in Athens, breaking the world pentathlon record.[2] In addition, she was Austrian champion in pentathlon, long jump, high jump, hurdles, relay and shot putting.[2]

Prokop began her political career in 1969 and became a member of the Parliament of Lower Austria.[4] She served as regional minister from 1981 to 1992 and vice president of Lower Austria during the period between 1992 and 2004.[4]

She joined Assembly of European Regions (AER) in 1996 and held different administrative positions in the AER, including the president of the AER which she assumed from 2001 to 2004.[4] Later she was made honorary president of the assembly.[4]

Beginning in December 2004 she was Austrian minister of interior for the conservative ÖVP, becoming Austria's first female interior minister.[3][5] She served in the cabinet led by Prime Minister Wolfgang Schüssel until her death on 31 December 2006.[3] She died unexpectedly of aortic dissection while being rushed to a Sankt Pölten hospital on New Year's Eve, 2006.[3] Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel became acting interior minister upon this incident.[6]

She was the sister of Maria Sykora, who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics,[1] and aunt of Winter Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Sykora.


  1. ^ a b "Olympic silver medalist Prokop dies at 65". IAAF Athletics. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Interior Minister Liese Prokop". Mauthausen Memorial. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d "Austrian Interior Minister Liese Prokop, a former Olympian, dead at 65". USA Today. Vienna. AP. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d "Liese Prokop, AER Honorary President, dies at age 65". Assembly of European Regions. 2 January 2007. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Obituaries in the News". The Washington Post. Vienna. AP. 1 January 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel". Bertelsmann Stiftung. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
Preceded by Austrian Sportspersonality of the year
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Interior Minister of Austria
2004 – 2006
Succeeded by