Niedziela, 16 czerwca, 2024   I   12:36:16 PM EST   I   Aliny, Anety, Benona

Twenty Thousand Fans in White and Red Hats at Verizon Center

16 marca, 2015

Close to 1,000 Polish fans, enthusiastically cheered on Marcin Gortat and the Washington Wizards during the second Polish Heritage Night in Washington, DC.

To celebrate Polish Heritage Night, each fan entering the Verizon Center received their very own red or white hat with  “Polska.pl” on them which were prepared in Poland for this very occasion. Additional attractions prepared for Polish Heritage Night included a welcoming address by the host of CNN’s the Situation Room Wolf Blitzer, a screening of the promotion film “Polska. Where the unbelievable happens” as well as several performances by Polish cheerleaders from Gdynia. During the halftime break the sold-out Verizon Center crowd could learn fun facts about Poland, including how many Polish Nobel prize winners there have been. Throughout the arena information screens listed additional fun facts about Poland.

Before the tip off, Marcin Gortat, the only Polish player in the NBA received from Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf the honorary White Eagle Award. "Marcin Gortat is not only an incredible athlete, and an 'ambassador' of our country in the world's best basketball league, but also an individual who wants to and knows how to apply his accomplishments to inspire youth, promote physical education, honor veterans and promote our country in the USA" remarked Ambassador Schnepf, explaining his decision to present Marcin Gortat this award.

Among the special guests in attendance at the  2015 Polish Heritage Night included former National Security Advisor Professor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Head of Voice of America David Ensor, representatives of the US Administration as well as popular actress and dancer Izabella Miko. The entire arena gave a standing ovation to Polish soldiers, veterans of overseas missions to Afghanistan, as well as to the parents of Sargent Staff Sgt. Michael Ollis, who was mortally wounded during an attack on an Allied base in Afghanistan while protecting a Polish soldier.

During the course of the post-game meet and greet with Marcin Gortat, Polish fans watched a special video message from the President of the Republic of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, participated in contests and posed numerous questions to Marcin Gortat, with some especially hard ones coming from the youngest fans in attendance “How did you get so tall?”

Biuro Rzecznika Prasowego
Ministerstwo Spraw Zagranicznych