Volleyball player Bartosz Kurek, a member of the Polish national team which defended the title of World Champions in September, as well as the MVP of the tournament, was named Athlete of Year 2018 in a plebiscite of the “Przegląd Sportowy” daily and Polsat private TV channel.
This was the 84th edition of the plebiscite organised by the oldest Polish sports newspaper. Kurek is the first volleyball player that was awarded with this title. In November, he was named the best volleyball player in Europe.
Ski jumper Kamil Stoch, the gold and bronze medallist of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, was the runner-up, and Michał Kubiak, the captain of the volleyball national team, was in the third place.
Behind the podium there were two European Athletics Champions: Justyna Święty-Ersetic and Adam Kszczot, speedway racer Bartosz Zmarzlik, another Athletics champion of Europe Anita Włodarczyk, extreme skier Andrzej Bargiel , footballer Robert Lewandowski and the European shot put champion Michał Haratyk.
The best athletes were chosen by the readers of “Przegląd Sportowy” and viewers of Polsat. The top ten was chosen earlier via online voting and coupons, and during Saturday’s gala the winner was chosen by SMS voting.
Editors of “Przegląd Sportowy” also gave other awards. The Polish national volleyball team was chosen the Team of the Year. Vital Heynen, the Belgian coach of this team, along with Stefan Horngacher, the Austrian coach of the national ski jumping team, received the awards of the Coaches of the year. Igor Sikorski was honoured with the title of Disabled Athlete of the year, and the organisation “Special Olympiads” was appreciated in the “Heart for sport” category. The rescue mission on Nanga Parbat mountain, conducted by mountaineers Adam Bielecki, Denis Urubko, Piotr Tomala and Jarosław Botor was chosen as the “Stunt of the year”.
During the gala, the late Irena Szewińska, the legend of Polish sport, was commemorated.