Liese Prokop
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

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.


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 Schuessel 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
Austria Olga Pall
Austrian Sportspersonality of the year
Succeeded by
Austria Karl Schranz
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernst Strasser
Interior Minister of Austria
2004 – 2006
Succeeded by
Günther Platter