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59 athletes to represent Poland in Sochi

07.02.2014 Sochi

Sochi, Russia, 06.02.2014. Winter Olympic Games - Sochi 2014. Polish team photographed in the Olympic village Rosa Chutor, where on Feb. 6 they were officially welcomed. (gj) PAP/Grzegorz Momot

The Polish Olympic representation going to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi is the biggest in history. For the first time 59 Polish athletes will compete for medals.

Although Poles have taken part in all the previous Winter Olympic Games, the Polish team has never been this big.  Four years ago 47 athletes represented Poland in Vancouver. The previous record was held by the Polish Winter Olympics team in Innsbruck in 1972, with 56 athletes competing. This year’s representation could grow to sixty athletes, if we count the reserve bobsledder Michał Kasperowicz.

This time the Polish team is exceptionally strong. Their rivals should not only watch out for Justyna Kowalczyk, one of the world’s best cross country skiers, and the excellent ski jumpers Kamil Stoch and Piotr Żyła,  worthy successors of the four-time Olympic gold medallist Adam Małysz, but also for speed skaters and biathletes.

This year’s flag bearer of the Polish representation will be the 36-year-old bobsledder Dawid Kupczyk, fifth-time participant in Winter Olympic Games. He debuted in 1998 in Nagano, Japan, as a pusher of the Polish bobsleigh team. Four years later in Salt Lake City, the US, he competed in the same position, but in Turin and Vancouver he was already the team’s pilot, which will be his role also this year. Kupczyk will attract the world’s attention bearing the white and red flag at the Olympics opening ceremony on February 7.  Before him 17 Polish athletes had this honour, of which three had this privilege twice. At the first unofficial winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France, the Polish flag was carried by Kazimierz Smogorzewski, a journalist, who stood in for an athlete who was late for the opening ceremony. Only once a woman the snowboarder Paulina Ligocka had the honour to bear the Polish flag in 2006 in Turin.

stroje Soczi, Kalendarium 2014

Warsaw , 06.11.2013. Presentation of uniforms in which Polish team will perform at the 22nd Winter Olympic Games Sochi 2014. The clothes are presented by a former hokey player Mariusz Czerkawski , biathlonist Monika Hojnisz , former snowbaord competitor and today president of the Krakow 2022 Bid Commitee Jagna Marczułajtis-Walczak , former speed skater Paweł Zygmunt; PAP/Stach Leszczyński 

The Polish company 4F will dress the Polish Olympic team.  The company has designed three ranges: the official, sport and casual all in different shades of snow. Red, one of the colours of the Polish flag, is visible against the background of the rather subdued colours of the athletes’ outfits.

The dominant colour of the official uniforms is grey with Swarovski crystals sewn on women’s jackets alluding to the snow sparkling in the sun. The eagles on the athletes’ chests are red. The complete athlete’s outfit consists of 40 elements and costs over 10 thousand zloty.

On the occasion of the Olympic Games, the National Bank of Poland has issued a series of three coins “Sochi 2014 Olympic Team.” The face of the 200 zloty gold coin designed by Urszula Walerzak depicts speed skating. The other two coins are the 10 zloty silver coin with a ski jumper in the air and a two zloty gold coin showing a cross-country skier. The silver coin and the reverse of the two zloty coin were designed by Robert Kotowicz, while the face of the two zloty coin with an eagle was designed by Ewa Tyc-Karpińska.

Karolina Kowalska

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