XVI International Polish Championship 2014
Participants of the 16th International Polish Championship in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding traveling to Copper Mtn, Colorado were not pleased by the weather conditions. Although the weather in such high mountains is always beautiful for ski enthusiasts, instead of sunshine and warm spring temperatures reaching well above 40F, we all experienced a harsh reality – cold January temperatures, heavy snow fall, closed highways, and mostly cloudy days. This hadn’t changed until the last day of the competition when we had to rummage through our backpacks looking for sun block creams. Sunbathing at 12,000 ft above sea level may be pretty dangerous!
As usual, a large group of contenders from the Chicago area had arrived, as well as a very strong team of skiers from Poland. However, the two-day competition held in very variable weather conditions has clearly shown how difficult it is to earn the title of champion.
After two runs of the Giant Slalom on the first day, the leaders (both among men and women) were not able to maintain their high position. The Slalom run, held in the beautiful, sunny weather introduced considerable changes in the general classification. Especially the second run meant that a large group of favorites lost chances for a place on the podium.
Since Szymon Gasienica-Daniel and Artur Romanowski were not present at this year’s competition, approximately 10 riders fought to win the title - often ended up falling out of the trail.
A similar situation occurred in the women’s category, although the reason was a more even level of a large group of players rather than the absence of the frequent champion Agnieszka Szyzdek. Leading the GS Renia Staszel and Agathe Georgeon lost their chance at the title during the ill-fated second run Slalom. A long awaited opportunity surfaced for 15-year-old Nicolette Klus, who finally took home the biggest cup of the 16th Championship.
It's not easy to win a prestigious trophy for the best families: two people have to ski flawlessly for a total of eight runs. The champions of this skill were once again John and Matthew Zielinski.
Winners of the 16th International Polish Championship in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
1. John Zielinski
2. Dennis Nowak
3. Maciek Galica
1. Nicolette Klus
2. Anna Trybuła
3. Natalia Klus
1. John and Matthew Zielinski
2. Renia and Tom Staszel
3. Joseph and Maciek Galica
(See "Related Files" section below for detailed results.)
The oldest participant in the competition: Robert Larson, 73 years old. The youngest participant in the competition: Nicole Dubiel, 6 years old. The most heavily-weighed championship this year was the snowboarding tournament.
The Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles, CA has been a patron of the competition for years – as a result, the trophies for champions in each category were handed by the Consul General, Mr. Mariusz. The President of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America, Andrzej Gędłek, handed the Family Cup, and Honorary Consul Tomasz Skotnicki honored the contenders who lived in Colorado.
Among the many guests during the closing ceremony were also Polish compatriots: the first Fie Fighter RP, General Wieslaw Leśniakiewicz, commander of the Fire Fighters in Krakow Józef Galica, and the director of the Bukovina Hotel Edward Kuchta, who sponsored the week-long stay at the hotel for the very talented skier, Filip Berezinski and his father. Thank you!
Polish media in America were present not only at the banquet, but also on the slopes: Polvision, Radio 1030AM, Radio 1080AM and Radio “Na Goralską Nute” of the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America.
The banquet and closing ceremony were not just about awarding the winners, but it was also an opportunity to win valuable prizes sponsored by various sports shops from Chicago: Ski Haus, Viking Ski Shop and Goskand Sports.
Once again, congratulations to the winners and all participants! Thank you for a fantastic time and see you next year!