Polish climbers win Fair Play award for Nanga Parbat rescue action

The climbers of the Polish winter expedition to K2 in early 2018 won the 52nd Fair Play Competition of the Polish Olympic Committee.

On Friday, the team, composed of Krzysztof Wielicki (the manager of the expedition), Janusz Gołąb (sports manager), Maciej Bedrejczuk, Adam Bielecki, Jarosław Botor, Marek Chmielarski, Rafał Fronia, Marcin Kaczkan, Artur Małek, Piotr Snopczyński, Piotr Tomala, Dariusz Załuski and Denis Urubko, received the “Fair Play” trophy for the deed of "pure play", for their Nanga Parbat rescue operation.

The Fair Play trophy honours the special act of "pure play" made by a player or competitor, a sports team, a coach or an activist towards helping others.

"In our environment, friendship, partnership, or carrying help is a normal thing, inscribed in what we do, we compete indirectly, not directly,” Krzysztof Wielicki said during the award ceremony.

“Alpinism is a sport without competition. There is no winner, second or third person, it is all about the emotions felt during climbing,” he said.

On January 27, 2018, the Polish climbing team diverted from their first winter ascent of K2 to rescue Tomasz Mackiewicz and the French climber Elisabeth Revol who got stuck while descending the Pakistani eight-thousander Nanga Parbat.

The team climbed through the night in harsh conditions and managed to rescue Elisabeth Revol, who continued her descent despite severe frostbite.

Despite attempts to also reach Mackiewicz, who was unable to make the descent on his own, they had to turn back and ultimately leave him behind so as not to run the risk of further loss of life.