The Krakow-Malopolska 2023 European Games are coming to an end. For the past two weeks, Poland has hosted 6432 athletes with 1626 medals, won in 29 disciplines. Poland was represented in the arena of struggle by 374 athletes, who won 49 medals. On Sunday, the organizers summed up the event at a press conference.
The event will certainly go down in the history of sports for good, leaving unforgettable memories and beautiful emotions in the hearts of participants and spectators. The Games were an extraordinary time, full of sporting spirit, competition and integration of European nations. On Sunday, July 2, the last medals were handed out. The rivalry was followed from the stands by more than 170,000 fans, who cheered their heroes in 26 arenas in 13 cities.
At the press conference preceding the closing ceremony, at the ICE Congress Center, Kamil Bortniczuk – Minister of Sport and Tourism – was the first to speak.
– The Games are a huge organisational success for Poland. Our country has proven itself as a host and we have strengthened our position in the world of international sports. The Games also open the way for us to apply to host the biggest events. We have confirmed that the Olympic Games can be held in our country in the near future – he stressed.
– We all participated in a great celebration of European sports. This was the third Games, but the first held on European Union territory. I am glad that the competition took place in so many cities of Malopolska, because thanks to this the whole region was a beneficiary of this event. For me, as the host, the evaluations of the athletes and foreign guests are very important, and these are positive, and we should be proud of that. Both Poland and Malopolska have the potential to organize large, multidisciplinary sports events. We are ready for bigger challenges. – concluded Witold Kozlowski Marshal of the Malopolska Region
EOC President Spyros Capralos expressed his immense gratitude to the organizers. – I wanted to thank everyone for their commitment. These Games were an undeniable success that exceeded the expectations of all of us. We heard a lot of positive feedback. Poland has implemented a world-class project and will certainly be a proud organizer of many major sports events in the future. Very importantly, all sports were played in an atmosphere of fair play in accordance with the true spirit of sports.
Chair of the EOC Coordination Commission Hasan Aarat, also expressed his greetings to organising committee. – I am very proud of the success of this event. We watched nearly 7,000 athletes participating at the highest level. Our cooperation has brought great success. I would like to thank everyone for their commitment and this extraordinary journey we have taken together. I would like to thank Poland for its hospitality and perfect fulfilment of its role as host of the European Games – he added.
Marcin Nowak President of the Organizing Committee also spoke. – We created in 2023 the largest sports event in the history of Poland, and the best organized in Europe. We were sure that the Games would be a great celebration. It was an event that showed the whole world that Poland can organize performances at the highest level. With the sporting and organizational level, we set the bar very high. Together with Hasan Aarat and Spyros Capralos, we want the European Games to enter the world sports calendar permanently. It was an undeniably unique event – he concluded.
Also present at the conference were talented Polish representatives in teqball, who at the Games twice won podium places: Alicja Bartnicka, a double bronze medalist, and Adrian Duszak, a silver and bronze medalist.
– It was the first time I was at such a big event. This is something unimaginable and I am proud to have represented our country. I am happy that I won two medals here. It’s amazing how many people supported us at the Market Square in Krakow. The stands were filled, and many people watched the competition on the screens. This is a huge step forward for the sport – Adrian Duszak said.
On the organisational side, the Games were supported by some 4,500 volunteers, 1,000 firefighters, 14,000 security personnel, 1,000 police officers and 1,200 maintenance workers. From the arenas, the athletes’ struggles were covered live by 776 journalists. The European Games also accounted for more than 500 hours of television coverage and more than 1,000 hours of streaming.
The 2023 European Games in Krakow-Malopolska left a lasting legacy both for the region itself and for European sports. The event has contributed to the development of sports infrastructure, the promotion of culture and tourism in the region, and, above all, the strengthening of ties between nations.
The closing ceremony will take place at the Henryk Reyman Municipal Stadium in Cracow. It will begin at 8:30 p.m. Polish music stars Justyna Steczkowska, Viki Gabor, Doda and Sara James will perform during the evening event.