Words by Jacek Będkowski
Photos by Tomek Gola
Did you know that the biggest freeskiing competition in Central and Eastern Europe has 10 years already? It is quite a lot of freeskiing history, and the history is still in making. Come to Zakopane on the 25th and 26th of January 2013 and experience famous hospitality of the event that for many years attracts skiers from all over the world.
“The history of The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open is similar to the history of freeskiing itself, " says Andrzej Lesiewski, the creator and main manager of the event. "It first started with the group of enthusiasts. Now PFO is one of the biggest winter events in Poland. Also freeskiing started as a crazy passion of the few, and now became one of the Olympic disciplines. This year, that is also the 10th anniversary of the event; skiers will be competing for the Olympic qualifications in two categories - slopestyle and halfpipe. We have many reasons to make The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open 2013 special.”
Riders visit Zakopane for many reasons. The best Polish skiers compete in the National Championshpis. For guests from abroad it is an opportunity to earn points in the AFP world ranking and win attractive prizes. For all of them, however, the most important is the atmosphere of The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open. As Lesiewski says, "When we talk to the riders from abroad they always mention the warm welcome they receive in Poland. For some of them it is a bit exotic travel. Even though they are not sure what to expect, they are always positively surprised. They praise the people, the event and the atmosphere. For teams from Great Britain or Switzerland this trip to Poland, at the end of January, becomes a tradition.”
The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open is two really intense days on the Harenda slope. When jumps on the kicker come to an end, the competitors move to the rail park (which the Polish event is known for). The atmosphere is constantly heated up by the DJs hidden in a characteristic Red Bull tent. Moreover, this year’s attractions won’t end on the slope. Each night, in the cinema in the centre of Zakopane, there will be a possibility to watch the newest freeski productions and see photo exhibitions related to the history of the event and freeskiing in Poland. For both the competitors and the public there will be also waiting many surprises prepared specially for the 10th anniversary of The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open!
For more information on The North Face Polish Freeskiing Open, visit www.pfopen.com.