The 2023 edition of the Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial was voted the sporting event of the year in the poll organised by the newspaper „Przegląd Sportowy”. – It is a confirmation of the fact that the biggest athletics event in our part of the continent is now a well-established brand. But that is not the end of our ambitions. We welcome you on 25 August, the show may be even better this time – promised Piotr Małachowski, sports director of the meeting. Tickets are already available for purchase.
Excluding the Diamond League finals, which by definition feature the world's best athletes, the 2023 Diamond League in the Silesian Stadium was the best meeting in the world since 2018. It left behind legendary events, including those in London, Monaco, Lausanne, Zurich and Paris. All of them have been part of the Diamond League since its outset, while the „Kama” made its debut as a regular part of the circuit only last year. The Diamond League authorities, who took a risk in giving Poland the rights to host the historic event, gave the organisers a score og 9.16 out of 10 after their second visit to Silesia. Close to perfection. The July competition in the Witches' Cauldron featured two best marks of the year in the world and the 25-thousand strong crowd was able to see World Championships medalists-to-be in 18 out of the 19 events on the program. Those are only a few of the arguments supporting the claim that there was no better sporting event in Poland in 2023. Such was the decision of the panel which bestowed on the Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial the honours in the poll organised by „Przegląd Sportowy”, the most prestigious one of its kind in Poland. At nearly 100 years old, it is also the second oldest sporting poll in the world.
– In moments like these, I simply feel proud – stated the Silesian voivodeship assembly chairman Jakub Chełstowski. The feeling is fully justified. – Nobody in our part of Europe dared to undertake a task like this before the Silesian Stadium. We were the first. The effort of the hundreds of people involved and the years of hard work took the competition to the very top. It is a symbol of Silesia’s dynamic develeopment – added the host of the event, who has been involved in building the brand in the region since the beginning.
The fact of reaching the top, mentioned by Chełstowski, has been appreciated worldwide. After the test event of 2022, the Diamond League immediately proposed a contract covering five seasons, until at least the summer of 2027. Silesia is the first host who managed to join this elite company permanently. Others, who tried unsuccessfully, include major cities such as Berlin and Tokyo as well as Ostrava, famous for the quality of the fields.
– It speaks volumes when Olympic champions and world record holders approach us in stadiums and ask about the date of the next edition. They literally push themselves onto the startlists. We started out as underdogs, in a tiny arena in Warsaw. With the whole organising team giving their hearts and souls, we have now reached a point where athletes tell their colleagues in backstage conversations about how they are treated by the Polish hosts. That is terrific – stated Piotr Małachowski, sports director of the meeting.
– For me, competing at the „Kama” is the highlight of every season. This is where I break records. With the way I am received by the audience here, I feel certain that being an athlete is the greatest privilege – said Natalia Kaczmarek, World Championships runner-up in the 400 metres.
– It is great that the spirit of our late colleague is watching over all this. This is for you, Kamila – added the five-time world champion Piotr Fajdek. The effort of the organisers of the Polish Diamond League event is also appreciated by the fans. In a poll conducted by Pentagon Research at the last edition, 95 per cent of them evaluated positively the organisation of the competition in the Silesian Stadium, appreciating in particular the atmosphere of the sporting festival, the chance to observe the greatest stars of the sport in action and witness global records, as well as the chance to participate in a sporting competition. The figures are impressive, especially considering the competition in the sporting event market in Poland.
– The figures are important, as they prove to us that out work is worthwhile. We are trying to make this more than just a four-hour long show. Our aspiration is to make it perfect, to get better from one edition to the next. But at the same time, we want the meeting to carry a message. At least this simple one: when you dream of anything and work hard for it, it is possible to reach for the stars. It is a universal message, applicable in all areas of life – stated Marcin Rosengarten, head of the organising committee.
In 2024 the Diamond League will come back to Silesia on 25 August, shortly after the Olympic Games in Paris.
Although athletics is currently in pre-season mode, there is no time to rest for the team organising the event. In December, negotiations with the Diamond League authorities took place to decide the list of events on the programme of our meeting in August of 2024. Among them, in addition to the hammer throw, will be all the events in which the Polish national team members are among the global elite.
– I am very excited I will get to compete in the Silesian Stadium for the third consecutive time – said Armand Duplantis, world record holder in the pole vault. The first announcement of participants’ names also included Femke Bol, world champion and European record holder in the 400 metres hurdles. The biggest stars of Polish athletics, including Natalia Kaczmarek, Ewa Swoboda, Paweł Fajdek and Wojciech Nowicki, will all be present in Chorzów in August as well.
– This is an event in which our top athletes will always have worthy opponents. We know how important this is, for both athletes and fans. We will do everything to attract as many medalists as possible shortly after the Olympics. It is not just empty talk. We are in a position to fight for this. Not just once, but every summer – Małachowski stated.
Tickets to the 2024 Diamond League in the Silesian Stadium – the 15 th Silesia Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, are available for purchase on the eBilet.pl website.