The extraordinary sports event, followed by not only Poles, but also the whole Europe, is already behind us. In Zakopane, during the III European Games, for the first time in the history of the event, competitions in ski jumping on “igelite” were held. It was a real celebration of this sport, extremely popular not only in Poland. A total of four individual competitions and one mixed team competition were held on the Średnia and Wielka Krokiew hills.
The rivalry of the leading jumpers from the Old Continent provided fans in the stands and in front of TV sets with lots of excitement. On the last day of the competition, during the men’s individual competition, the stands of the Wielka Krokiew were full of fans. The icing on the cake was the phenomenal victory of Polish representative Dawid Kubacki, who confidently and in great style won the gold medal of the European Games.
As part of the III European Games, Zakopane hosted ski jumping competitions on the plastic matting. From Tuesday to Saturday, competitions were held daily on the jumping hills located at the Central Sports Centre. The capital of the Tatra Mountains at that time turned into the capital of sports – locals and tourists were very excited to follow what was happening at the European Games. And not only during the competitions, but also throughout this prestigious sports event.
Every day, from morning to evening, almost directly at Krupówki, at Independence Square there was a fan zone full of people. It was possible to cheer on ski jumpers from all over Europe at the telebim, but also to spend time in an interesting way. For parents with children, the organisers prepared a lot of attractions and games dedicated especially for the youngest. Another similar place was operating at Wielka Krokiew and here, too, it was impossible to get bored – not only during the competition itself, but also throughout the day.
It all started with the women’s individual competition on Średnia Krokiew, which was dominated by athletes from Austria and Slovenia, taking the first six places. The next day, the men’s individual competition was to be held, but here the organisers were thwarted by the weather – rain and wind made it necessary to move the competition to Thursday morning. On that day, the mixed team competition was also held, in which, after a fierce battle, the Polish team finally took fifth place.
Friday was already the women’s individual competition on the legendary Wielka Krokiew. Without a doubt, the competition was held on the highest level, and the impressive jumps of Slovenian Nika Kriznar, one at 137.5 meters, were impressive and gave her a well-deserved victory.
And finally, the most important competition – the men’s individual competition on the large hill. Here, the stands of the legendary facility were finally full of fans, cheering the Poles with all their might. Their dreams of seeing one of the Poles on the podium were fullfilled by Dawid Kubacki, who after a fierce competition confidently won, winning the gold medal of the European Games. The medal ceremony and the “Mazurek Dabrowskiego” caused real euphoria in the stands, especially since the Pole’s victory was his great return to jumping after a break due to his wife’s illness.
The III European Games, as emphasized by athletes from all national teams, were prepared in a very professional way. Regardless, the atmosphere on the hills created by the fans enchanted the jumpers. The sports teams were impressed not only by the unique atmosphere during the competition on the hills, but also by the city itself, Zakopane. Highland hospitality and kindness made a great impression on everyone.