Polish Alpine snowboarder makes history with World Cup podium finish
PR dla Zagranicy
Alpine snowboarder Oskar Kwiatkowski unexpectedly finished runner-up in a World Cup event this weekend, becoming the first Polish man to secure a podium spot for his country in the sport.
Oskar Kwiatkowski (right) celebrates on the podium together with third-placed Nevin Galmarini of Switzerland (left) and winner Tim Mastnak of Slovenia (centre), after the final of the FIS Snowboard World Cup Parallel Giant Slalom race in Scuol, Switzerland, on Saturday. Photo: EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER
The 21-year-old was only outperformed by Tim Mastnak of Slovenia in the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) snowboarding World Cup parallel giant slalom competition at the Swiss resort of Scuol on Saturday.
In the semifinals, Kwiatkowski defeated local hero Nevin Galmarini, the Olympic champion from Pyeongchang and the runner-up at the 2014 Sochi Games.
The Pole competed in Alpine snowboarding in this winter’s Olympics in South Korea, where he finished 13th overall. He lost by a hair’s breadth in the round of 16 of the men's parallel giant slalom to France’s Sylvain Dufour, who eventually placed fourth in the event, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.
It quoted Tomasz Wieczorek, secretary general of the Polish Ski Association (PZN), as saying that Kwiatkowski still lacks international inexperience and is a bit unpredictable, but holds out a promise for the country ahead of the next winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.
In February 2016, Kwiatkowski collided with a bus head on while driving a car in southern Poland. He was rushed to a hospital unconscious and suffered seven broken ribs and a fractured hip.
In last year's world championships, Kwiatkowski placed 12th in the slalom and 20th in the giant.