In 1956, Inese Jaunzeme became the first Latvian to win an Olympic gold medal. Before her triumph at the 1956 Olympics, Jaunzeme was virtually unknown, her only title of note before the 1956 Olympics was as 1952 Latvian SSR champion, a title she won three more times in 1956, 1958, 1960. In 1956, Jaunzeme won her only medal, a bronze, at the Soviet Championships and was selected to the 1956 Soviet Olympic team. At the 1956 Olympics, Jaunzeme bettered 50 metres for the first time and established herself as the leader in the first round (51.63) and later bettered her mark by over two metres, winning with 53.86, although her first-round mark would have been good for gold. In 1957, Jaunzeme won gold at the World Student Games held in Moscow and was second at the 1957 Universiade. In 1956 and 1957, Januzeme was also selected as the best Latvian athlete of the year. In 1960, Jaunzeme graduated the Riga Medical Institute with a MD degree and retired from athletics. At first she worked as a surgeon and since 1970 she was an orthopaedics professor at her alma mater. Since 1999 until her death in 2011, Jaunzeme also was the president of the Latvian Olympians Association.
Personal Best: JT – 55.73 (1960).