About PyeongChang again...
On Saturday afternoon, April 14, memories of the XXIII Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 have returned. It happened thanks to the Olympic Gala 2018 organized this day at the Olympic Center in Warsaw.
The honorary guest was the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda with a group of associates. Our Olympic medalists from PyeongChang took part in the Gala - ski jumpers who won the bronze medal in the team competition (Maciej Kot, Stefan Hula, Dawid Kubacki, Kamil Stoch) and gold individually on the large hill (Kamil Stoch). There were trainers, their relatives, parliamentarians, numerous representatives of the Olympic Family, activists, sports sympathizers from the world of culture, science, medicine, and business, members of the diplomatic corps, youth from Olympic clubs and Olympian schools. There were, of course, representatives of companies that are sponsors and partners of the Polish Olympic Committee and the Polish Olympic Team. From funds provided by them, POC could pay statutory prizes for medal-winners.
The ceremony in the conference hall of the Olympic Center was preceded by the unveiling of medal replicas placed on the Wall of Polish Sports in the Museum of Sport and Tourism. The Olympic collection and Olympic torch from PyeongChang also found its way into the collection. Afterward, Kamil Stoch unveiled a board with the names of all members of our Olympic team participating in the Korean games.
The gala was opened by its host - Andrzej Kraśnicki. The President of the Polish Olympic Committee briefly summarized the performance of the white-reds in the venues of the games, noting that apart from the medal starts there were many of those our representatives who were a step away from the places on the podium. He also drew attention to the inevitable change of generations in our sport, which also takes place in winter disciplines. The place of experienced and titled competitors is taken by talented young people, who perhaps in a few years' time will make our Olympic achievements more substantial. A. Kraśnicki also thanked all sponsors and partners of the team for their help in carrying out the operation "Olympics 2018", and handed to one of them - the president of PLL LOT (official carrier) - a commemorative cup - a symbol of gratitude for taking care of our representatives.
In a similar vein, the Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Bańka expressed his congratulations to the medalists and their trainers, stressing the fact that each of their start, especially Olympic, is always accompanied by huge public interest.
A nice and symbolic element of the Gala was the appearance on the stage of four of our young Olympians who made their debut in the Olympic team at PyeongChang. Karolina Bosiek (speed skating), Natalia Kaliszek and Maksym Spodyriew (figure skating) and Mateusz Sochowicz (luge) gave a short brief of how they experienced their debut and described impressions of Korea and the Olympic Games. Then, from the hands of the IOC member Irena Szewińska, they and a few other participants of the Olympics received commemorative badges confirming their participation in the event.
The first awards for the medal were taken by the members of the ski jumping team. Maciej Kot, Stefan Hula, Dawid Kubacki and Kamil Stoch received checks for PLN 37,500 each and the main coach - Stefan Horngacher (PLN 25,000). Awards were handed by the representatives of the General Sponsor of the Polish Olympic Team - President of the Totalizator Sportowy Olgierd Cieślik and Sponsor of our Representation - President of the Board Tauron Sales Rafał Soy, accompanied by the Vice-President of the Polish Olympic Committee Council Anna Rulkiewicz and the President of the Polish Olympic Committee Andrzej Kraśnicki.
A few minutes later representing the Strategic Sponsor of the Polish Olympic Team PyeongChang 2018 - Member of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN Zbigniew Leszczyński together with Andrzej Kraśnicki gave a PLN 120,000 check to Kamil Stoch and PLN 60,000 to Stefan Horngacher.
Let's announced that the Olympic champion (Kamil Stoch) has decided to give his prize (PLN 120 000) to the members of his training and technical staff, who - in his opinion - have a great impact in his Olympic success.
A nice surprise for our Champion was prepared by Poczta Polska, which presented its "Champion Kamil Stoch" stamp. It was presented to the athletes and the guests of the meeting by the President of Poczta Polska - Przemysław Sypniewski.
Then the President has spoken to the gathered guests. Andrzej Duda referred to the fierce Olympic competition at PyeongChang, emphasizing the importance of the two medals won there by white-reds. He thanked all competitors and their team for their ambitious attitude and a worthy representation of the national flag. He also stressed that 18 out of 22 Polish medals from the Winter Olympic Games are trophies reached since 2002. This, in turn, fills with optimism in the perspective of the next Olympics. Andrzej Duda assured that the authorities of our country will make efforts for Polish athletes to create training conditions similar to those that their competitors have. He also announced his keen support for the athletes who compete with Polish eagle on theirs' chest.
A joint photograph of medalists with the President and representatives of sponsors, partners of the POC and representation as well as heads of the POC departments responsible for the operation "PyeongChang 2018" has ended the Olympic Gala. Let's just add that during the performance there was a talented singer and composer - Iwona Kmiecik, daughter of a coaching couple - Jolanta and Wiesław Kmiecik, years ago, a promising skater, medalist of MP Junior.
We kindly invite you all to watch videos from the Gala on the websites of the Media Partner of the Polish Olympic Committee, Eurosport: on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EurosportPL/ and on the website www.eurosport.interia.pl.
Photo: Szymon Sikora, Tomasz Piechal