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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Maciej Wierzyński’s column. To be clear…

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…I enjoy Iga Świątek’s successes, but I can’t stand it when the authorities, usually hypocritical to the point of impossibility, have been trying since the holidays, using the victories of Miss Świątek, to establish contact with the society in this way. It begins to clumsily speak to us in a human voice, although on weekdays it only lets out insulting roars or delivers empty promises.

And suddenly it turns out that Sasin, Morawiecki or Duda are cool guys and it was only a malicious fate that brought them to ministerial positions, which they hold only out of a sense of patriotic duty, because, as the President ordered, one does not go into politics for money. And after hours, they enjoy the same thing as everyone else, which is when our team wins. They would like to take a picture wrapped in a scarf in patriotic colors and only sometimes they will gallop like Deputy Prime Minister Sasin, who went in rapture that “history is happening before our eyes”. I am of the opinion that minimalism or reprehensible micromania shines through the deputy prime minister. If winning the Roland Garros tournament, even for the second time in a row, is history unfolding before our eyes, what are those GermanySwiss and even Czechs and more Serbs and Spaniardswhich is a complete sucker with which it is not even worth comparing.

I am not writing this to belittle Iga Świątek’s achievements, because I envy her and I am very happy. I only care about keeping proportions and I urge you not to bang the patriotic drum on any occasion, because this is the affliction of complex people, not truly proud and self-confident. And just one more sentence on the margin of the successes of Świątek. On one very modern information portal, the message about the victory over Muchova was adjacent to the message of how much Światek earned in Paris. About ten million zlotys came out. I personally didn’t like the neighborhood. The authors meant well and I understand that. They supported their sporting success with financial success calculated in zlotys. Unfortunately, it turned out as if they did not believe in the meaning of sports achievements and I do not like looking into the wallet, because I see a sign of time in it. Because it’s as if money is all that matters in today’s sport.

From a book written many years ago by my friend Andrzej Ziemilski (if he had lived, he would have celebrated his 100th birthday in a few days) I remember the story “10 days on Ornak”. In this story, it is said that sport brings people closer to the absolute: “In the twentieth century, only an athlete (…) still has a soul. He may have a small soul, but he has it” – says one of the heroes of the story. Andrzej does not identify himself with this judgment, but he admits the possibility that it is so. When I looked at Iga Świątek, kneeling in the middle of the court after the victory over Muchowa, I also thought that maybe it was. Andrzej survived the war as a young man, sport was an escape for him from the nightmare of war times, and that is probably why, apart from sociology and writing, he devoted so much time and attention to sport.

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Half a year ago, on the occasion of Iga Świątek’s victory in the US Open tournament, I noticed that in my opinion she represents the new Poland. Now I stand by this opinion and may even expand on it. In my youth, we also had great athletes: Olympic champions and world record holders. However, we were all – both fans and athletes – children of our era. They are as thin as Krzyszkowiak or Chromik, malnourished and full of complexes towards western bulls. Świątek is long-legged, free from complexes. It is modern, not provincial. He speaks English fluently, more freely than Andrzej Duda. She is the best in the world in a difficult field. No one from our country has achieved such a position before.

The few Poles who reached the world level in tennis were among the toughest and most intelligent. They either had to flee Poland, like Skonecki, or dance skilfully on a tightrope so that the people’s power would not interfere with their careers. It was only the change of the political system that made Iga Świątek avoid such complications. Although the President and his people would probably like to see her in their team. I also like the fact that the President cannot force Iga Świątek to do anything.

Opinions expressed in columns for tvn24.pl are not the editorial position.


Maciej Wierzyński – TV journalist, columnist. After the introduction of martial law, he was released from TVP. In 1984 he emigrated to USA. He was a scholarship holder at Stanford University and Penn State University. He founded the first multi-hour Polish-language Polvision channel on cable television “Group W” in the USA. In the years 1992-2000 he was the head of the Polish Section of the Voice of America in Washington. Since 2000, editor-in-chief of the New York “Nowy Dziennik”. Since 2005, he has been associated with TVN24.

Main photo source: TVN24

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