Slag. One and a half laps: The rider won – bad, the footballer won – also bad. The magic of plebiscites [FELIETON]

With the plebiscites, practically every year someone may feel offended and underestimated. I don’t understand the complaints of some athletes. If the popularity of the discipline were to win, then every year a footballer would be the best – writes Marta Półtorak.

Marta Półtorak

Marta Półtorak

Bartosz Zmarzlik

Instagram / zmarzlik95 / In the photo: Bartosz Zmarzlik

“One and a half laps” is a series of columns by Marta Półtorak, former president of Stal Rzeszów.


It is the beginning of the new year and it could be said that there was traditionally controversy after we met the winner of the poll for the best athlete in the country at the Gala of Sports Champions. When Bartosz Zmarzlik was defeating Robert Lewandowski not so long ago, the football community was outraged and pointed out that speedway is a niche sport.

Now we have controversy from the athletics community, some question Zmarzlik’s third place in the voting of fans, others question Lewandowski’s triumph. However, we must remember that this is a plebiscite, a game. As a society, we are made up of different communities and each has its idol.

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One likes football more, another likes speedway, and someone else likes athletics. Someone will always be dissatisfied because they will think that “his” candidate has lost. Therefore, I am not even surprised by the discussion that returns every twelve months. The speedway rider Zmarzlik won – bad, the footballer Lewandowski won – also bad.

I would like to point out that the nominees for the Athlete of the Year award distinguished themselves with something, achieved some success in the calendar year that ended earlier, and deserved to be in this group. Choosing the best of the best will always be a subjective matter. That is why I do not understand the words repeated by Paweł Fajdek.

I would like to note that Zmarzlik himself is also a representative of a niche, not very popular discipline. If popularity was to decide in this type of poll, a footballer would win them every year. Meanwhile, it is not so. What’s more, ball kickers over the years have won this game only five times.

I will write more, the football community also has its plebiscites and there is also no shortage of controversy in them. After all, all of Poland was convinced that Robert Lewandowski would win the “Golden Ball” for last season, and it turned out that Lionel Messi received it. It is also proof that such plebiscites are often a popularity ranking.

It is no coincidence that at the Gala of Sports Champions, the statuette for the “best athlete of the year” is awarded. This means that a representative of any discipline can win. If we wanted to look for a just and equal world, we would have to award prizes in each sport area separately. We would not avoid controversy, because suddenly it could turn out that someone in the athletics community believes that someone else deserves a distinction.

Marta Półtorak

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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