All these olympic medals…

When I arrrived to the Embassy this morning I saw that the first page story of Gazeta Wyborcza was about Justyna Kowaczyk. The reason was quite obvious: 10 km skiing classic style today, when we Swedes obviously kept our thumbs crossed for Charlotte Kalla.

Additionally though the headline reminded me that Justyna Kowalczyk had a bone broken in her foot.

Still, a couple of hours later she had won the gold medal. Absolutely amazing. I spent some minutes during lunch hour to watch the pictures on TV. The energy behind her skiing was just unbelievable. There were – to my amateur eyes – some similiarities between Kowalczyk and Kalla in this sense.

There was however no possibility whatsoever to beat Kowalczyk today. She is a very worthy winner and, as was obvious from the interview, a very happy one as well.

Charlotte Kalla made it to a second silver medal, beating the otherwise almost unbeatable Norwegians. The friendly competition within the Nordic family continues. Congratulations to Therese Johaug to won the bronze. And Marit Björgen will be back for sure.

I tweeted “Polsko-szwedzki sukces” just after having heard the news about the medals.

A similar tweet could be motivated for something totally different. This Tuesday I hosted a lunch for the Polish contact persons for cooperation with Sweden (within the framework of the declaration about cooperation in strategic areas from 2011). I have done it before and every meeting with this group is increasingly encouraging because there is always something new starting up and something already ongoing that I did not know about.

The declaration was reviewed in October http://blog.swedenabroad.se/poland/2013/10/18/broadening-of-our-cooperation-2/.

Our joint assessment was definitely positive and new thematic areas were added to the list like ICT, agriculture and the fight for tolerance.

When I listened to our Polish guests I made the same reflection as did my colleague Ms Ewa Dębska from Ministry of Foreign Affairs: that we are doing a lot together not only between us but also jointly in multilateral fora like the United Nations. Our cooperation about i.a. human rights in this respect is quite substantial.

Additionally some new initiatives have also been suggested recently that we will follow up.

Swedish-Polish cooperation about sustainable energy will in some minutes take me to a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Elżbieta Bieńkowska. And next week I look forward to once again visit the sejm and the Polish-Swedish friendship group there (under the chairmanship of MP Stanisław Szwed).

Today was a day of Polish-Swedish successes. First and foremost a Polish one.

I hope to see many more such days – inside as well as beyond the skiing stadiums of the world…


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