Fair Play Awards Granted

The official award ceremony of the 47th POC Fair Play Competition took place on Tuesday, 29 April, at the Warsaw Olympic Center.

From left: Irena Szewińska, Tadeusz Olszański, Halina Zdebska/Phot.: Szymon SikoraIts history dates back to 1963, when editor Tadeusz Olszański, who at the time managed the sports section of a youth magazine entitled "Sztandar Młodych", came to the idea of honoring ‘gentlemen of sport’. He invited writers, intellectuals, sports activists and journalists to take part in selecting those athletes who presented outstanding, honorable attitude during their sport struggles. The first winner of the "Gentleman of Sport" title was Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, a famous Polish boxer.

Already the same year, under auspices of the UNESCO, the International Fair Play Committee was established. Since 1965, it has been awarding the Pierre de Coubertin Fair Play Trophy to athletes presenting outstanding fair play behaviors. Soon, "Sztandar Młodych" was substituted by the Fair Play Club appointed at the POC. Directed for many years by Prof. Zofia Żukowska, the Club concentrated its efforts on selecting, among numerous sports events, those situations where a competitor, coach or activist demonstrated a particularly gentlemanly, honorable attitude.

Laureates of the 47th Fair Play Competition 2013 / Phot.: Szymon SikoraLast Tuesday, the history of Fair Play awards was recalled by: Polish Member of the IOC, POC's First Vice-president Irena Szewińska and Head of the Fair Play Club Prof. Halina Zdebska. Participants, after a moment of silence during which they paid homage to the sadly deceased last year Prof. Zofia Żukowska, applauded consecutive laureates. Unfortunately, for different reasons (mostly due to illness) the following awardees could not take part in the ceremony: Robert Pasternak, Lucjan Brychczy and Zbigniew Czajkowski. Those who were able to attend turned up at the Olympic Center and received from the hands of I. Szewińska, H. Zdebska and Kajetan Hądzelek ("Olympic Education Center" Foundation) their diplomas accompanied by flower bouquets.

The ceremony witnessed a pleasant accord when Tadeusz Olszański received the Gold Medal for "Merit for the Polish Olympic Movement", awarded by the POC.

Photo: Szymon Sikora
Translation: Piotr H. Kowalski, phkowalski@pkol.pl

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