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Weronika Nowakowska: For me sport of people with disabilities symbolizes pure idea of sport

Weronika Nowakowska, ParaSki4Europe Ambassador visited the athletes participating in biathlon competition of European Winter Para Sports Event, Poland 2020.  Weronika Nowakowska is  Polish biathlonist, one of the best in history of winter sports in our country. Her best performance was during World Championships in Kontiolahti in 2015 when she won silver and bronze medals. Having ended her sport career, she has become TV expert and sport commentator. She talked about her ambassador role with Paulina Malinowska-Kowalczyk, the spokesperson of Polish Paralympic Committee.

 

Paulina Malinowska-Kowalczyk: Is it the first time you contact people with disabilities practising biathlon?

Weronika Nowakowska: I had an occasion to watch biathlonists and cross-country skiers with disabilities but I have never had an opportunity to get closer, to touch nor to try – never.

PMK: You know arms and legs are especially important while skiing up a mountain. Here you meet athletes without arms, without limbs, they compete sitting, the blind are shooting. What impression does it make on you?

WN: For me it is unbelievable. I am really impressed people with different disabilities decide to take up sport and want to compete. I can only imagine how difficult his everyday sport life can be. I find it interesting to observe different types of rivalry here.

PMK: Does it inspire you?

WN: Sure! For me sport of people with disabilities symbolizes pure idea of sport, the example of breaking through all difficulties, trying to get better. In sport of the able-bodied it is frequently forgotten. But it is commonly seen in sport of people with physical or intellectual impairment. Two years ago I was Special Olympics ambassador.

PMK: When we asked you to become the Ambassador of ParaSki4Europe you agreed immediately. I wondered what made you that open?

WN: First of all, I wanted to talk to these people, to experience the beauty which is always accompanying this rivalry, very often far away from tv cameras. That is why I got up at 5 a.m. and came here (to Tauron Duszniki Arena) to watch the rivalry live.

PMK: You run your own FB fanpage and what pays attention is your perspective to look at athlete life which mostly consists of loosing, the victories happen rarely. This aspect connects sport of people with disabilities and of the able-bodied. What would you advise to those who lose even here, during ParaSki4Europe?

WN: I rarely think about the word “loser” although I see I was also losing during different types of competitions. I you lose, you learn, and if you learn you can be sure you will succeed. During my motivational speeches I often tell that in 2010 in sprint I was 68th and lost 6 points shooting and ran very badly. Nobody remembers it. In 2015 I did perfect shooting and everybody knows it. 100 times I did not get any points at world cups, to be the second in the world once. Sometimes you have to lose for 100 times, to win once, but the winners are only those who do not give up.

PMK: What motivated you?

WN: I had my aim I wanted to gain. When it was really difficult for me I always wondered why I was doing that and what for.

PMK: You have already finished your sports career. What are your aims now? You are making much progress as tv expert and commentator.

WN: Indeed, there are many things I am involved in, but they are all compatible with my life values. I like to be close to people. My aim is to encourage people to gain their aims.

PMK: Thank you very much for your support, thank you have come to visit us.

WN: For me it was an honor and great experience.

 

 

European Winter Para Sports Event, Poland 2020 is the first ever non-comercial event of this kind in winter sports for athletes with disabilities. It is held in Czarna Góra Ski Resort and Duszniki Zdrój Cross Country Center from 24th of February to 1st of March. The athletes in four disciplines – para alpine skiing, para – snowboard, cross country skiing and para-biathlon.

European Winter Para Sports Event, Poland 2020 is co-funded by Erasmus+ Sport Programme. Erasmus+Sport “Not-for-profit European Sport events “programme has, with very specific aims, to support volunteering in sport; social inclusion through sport; gender equality in sport and health-enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA). The event is also financed by Ministry of Sport and PKN Orlen, Sponsor of the Event.

The Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda. 

European Winter Para Sports Event, Poland 2020 have the media patronage of TVP Sport, TVP3 Wrocław and niepelnosprawni.pl website.

More information at www.paralympic.org.pl ParaSki4Europe and

https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-plus/actions/sport/not-for-profit-european-sport-events_en.

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