Wrocław – After many years of planning, the tenth edition of The World Games is almost ready to start. A better location could have not been selected. The host city of Wrocław (vrots-wɑ) is scrubbed clean and the pot-holes in the roads are filled.
It all starts with arrival at Copernicus Airport Wrocław (WRO). This is a super-efficient, compact and ultra-modern international airport. Wrocław is Poland’s 4th largest city and it is an exciting and very alive place with an old city center and a vibrant nightlife.
The attractive capital of the Lower Silesia region in Poland has many charms. There are many riverside vistas, lively squares and a combination of historic and contemporary buildings. Even Odra River looks great.
There are many new bistros, taverns, restaurants and walkways along its banks. The city-center is a thriving multicultural area. It is home to a growing student community and acts as the financial, cultural and commercial hub of western Poland. It is ground-zero to a wide variety of musical, theatrical events and film festivals.
“Already, many of the athletes, support staff, The World Games family and volunteers have arrived in the city. The host city is ready. Wroclaw is beautiful and quite quiet,” said Chen Sen Ting, a medical support staff member from Chinese Taipei. “Yes, the scenery is lovely and the food is good too,” added Li Rou Zhen, a medical colleague.
The World Games could not function without the enthusiastic volunteers. Marta Majchrzak is a Polish National who hails from a small town near Poznan. She is a professional aquatics lifeguard and trainer (coach). She has volunteered her vacation to support this event.
“I was a volunteer in Norway at the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympics, where I was training young people. Hopefully, I can encourage swimmers to go beyond their limits in a healthy way. I hope to meet lots of inspiring people from all over the world. It is something special to help people. Would you say, warm-fuzzy?” (She was practicing her English idioms with me!)
Majchrzak will be attached to the team from Argentina and act as their local host. “Ten people are coming from Argentina to compete in some non-traditional sports. As she contemplatively continued, “I do not speak Spanish very well, but I understand it. I need to learn more because I am hoping to be a volunteer at the Youth Summer Olympics in Buenos Aires next year.” Majchrzak added, “The enthusiasm is contagious.”
The opening ceremony of The World Games 2017 will take place in the Wrocław Stadium at 7pm on Thursday, July 20. The opening ceremony can be watched on the Olympic Channel. (Check Listings)
The spectacular showcase is being put together by artistic director Krzysztof Materna. Musical contributions will be provided by Dawid Kwiatowski, Radzimir Debski, Steve Nash and The Turntable Orchestra. Entertainers Kamil Bednarek, Igor Herbut, Lemon, and French band BeMY will also contribute.
THE ‘SKINNY’ on participation: The World Games 2017 will feature 3,250 athletes from 111 countries, who will compete in 31 different sports, (27 official sports and four invitational sports). The venues will be spread across the host city of Wrocław. [schedule]
The World Games 2021 will take place in Birmingham, Alabama. The announcement was made by José Perurena, President of the International World Games Association.
Raymond Rolak is in country for the Confederation of European Baseball ‘B’ Pool Championship hosted in Miejska Górka, Poland.