Sports minister cautious on Poland’s Olympic medal hopes
PR dla Zagranicy
It is realistic to expect that Polish athletes will bring home two to three medals from the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the country’s sports minister has said.
Poland's Sports Minister Witold Bańka. Photo: Kancelaria Premiera [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
“Two to three medals would be a result reflecting the current potential" of Polish winter sports athletes, Sports and Tourism Minister Witold Bańka said ahead of the Games, which open on Friday.
While “sport is unpredictable and we are keeping our fingers crossed for Polish athletes, we try to be realistic,” Bańka told Poland's PAP news agency.
He added that Poland “has never been a winter sports powerhouse” and that the six medals it won at the previous Olympics in Sochi -- and a similar showing four years earlier in Vancouver -- was more than could be expected, “slightly obscuring the picture of the state of winter sports in Poland.
“After all, our total count in the entire history of the Olympic Winter Games is 20 medals,” Bańka said.
Poland won six medals, four gold, one silver and one bronze, during the previous winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014, Poland's best Olympic Winter Games tally.
Four years earlier in Vancouver, Canada, Poland also scooped up six medals: one gold, three silver and two bronze.
Bańka named ski jumping as Poland’s biggest chance of an Olympic medal at Pyeongchang.
After some last-minute additions to the national team, Poland is sending a contingent of 62 athletes to the Pyeongchang Games, which will be held from February 9 to 25.
Poland was represented by 59 athletes at the Sochi Olympics four years ago.
President Andrzej Duda and Bańka will both be in South Korea when the Pyeongchang Games open on Friday, PAP reported.