The European Games are intended to show a beautiful, safe and modern Poland on the one hand, and on the other hand to be an arena of competition for Europe’s best athletes, who will also compete in 13 cities for European championship medals and Olympic qualifications. – I am convinced that we are in for an event of a very high sporting level,’ said Kamil Bortniczuk, Minister for Sport and Tourism. – This is the biggest sporting event since the London Olympics. You can be proud of it,” added Spyros Capralos, President of the Association of European Olympic Committees (EOC).
The opening ceremony of the III European Games Krakow – Małopolska 2023 will take place on Wednesday. For 12 days, seven thousand athletes from 48 countries will compete for medals in 29 disciplines in Małopolska, as well as Podkarpacie, Upper and Lower Silesia.
“We are in the very hospitable Małopolska region, whose capital is Krakow, but the Games will also visit other regions. Together with the EOC, we have ensured that the event stands at a high sporting level. As a result, some of the disciplines will be played as the European Championships, and in many cases the awards will also include Olympic qualifications. This guarantees the participation of the best athletes,” assured Minister Bortniczuk. “Robert Korzeniowski, four-time Olympic champion, will confirm that the facilities, or the athletes’ village, do not differ in standard from those at the Olympic Games. We invite fans to see the athletes compete live, and those who cannot, in front of their TV sets,” he said.
The heart of the European Games will be Małopolska and Krakow. – It is a great honour for us to be able to host the best athletes and fans in this beautiful region,” said Witold Kozłowski, Marshal of the Małopolska Region. – We have done a tremendous amount of work, as we organised the Games in difficult conditions. First there was the coronavirus pandemic, then the unleashed war against independent Ukraine and the wave of refugees that Poland took in. I have seen all the venues in Małopolska and we can be proud, because in a short time we have created conditions on the level of the Olympic Games,” he assured.
Most disciplines will be held in Krakow. It is also here that the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will take place. – In Krakow we have always focused on both professional and amateur sport, but first and foremost on building an appropriate sports infrastructure, which is being constructed at an incredible pace. On top of that, we have great athletes and teams in various disciplines here,” said Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Krakow. – Our city has been included on the first UNESCO World Heritage List. You will be focusing on sport, but I encourage you to find a moment to get to know beautiful Krakow and show it to the world. Although, next to Warsaw, we are the only Polish city recognised in the world, there is never enough of that,” he believes.
Spyros Capralos, President of the European Olympic Committee, thanked the Polish authorities for their commitment and pointed out that the good cooperation had made the Games more prestigious. – The day has come. We are ready for the Games. I would like to thank many people, including the President Andrzej Duda, who flew to Rome to receive the flame of peace. I hope that peace will soon prevail throughout Europe. I would also like to thank the volunteers, because without them this event would not be so good,” he said. – This is the biggest sporting event in Europe since 2012, when the Olympic Games were held in London. This will be a unique competition. It’s the first time we have Europe’s best athletes here. This is the first time it will be held not in one, but 13 cities. The organisers have managed to use existing facilities so as not to generate costs. And on top of that, thanks to the broadcaster, the whole of Europe will see the competition,” he added.
The European Games Opening Ceremony, during which the flame of peace will be lit, is scheduled to start at 8.30 p.m. – This will be a special event. During the ceremony we will show what is most beautiful in Poland, what the people of Malopolska and Krakow can be proud of. We will show that our country is modern, friendly and safe. The moment of lighting the torch will be a highlight and we will remember it for a long time,” said Marcin Nowak, president of the Local Organising Committee. – Krakow stands shoulder to shoulder with other great cities such as Paris, London and Athens, which have also hosted major sporting events. This is possible because we have friends whose commitment is evident every day. Our sponsors PKN Orlen, Lotto or Tauron are more than just financial support. Without them we would not have reached this point. We invite you to 12 days of unforgettable sporting emotions that Poland and Europe have not seen for 11 years.