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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 17, 2008
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Final Roar at Historic Stadium
September 17, 2008 By P.M.    
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The Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle moto-cross final on Sept. 6 was the final event to be held at Warsaw's Dziesięciolecia Stadium, the former symbol of communist Poland. The new Polish National Stadium is to be built in its place.

Almost 35,000 spectators filled the stadium for the finals of the Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle competition. The winner was Spanish rider Dany Torres. Australian Robbie Maddison came second, Mat Rebeaud from Switzerland took third place and American Jeremy Lusk finished fourth.

The competition was the first event to be held at the stadium for 25 years. The site fell into ruin after the last football match to be played there in 1983. For the last 10 years the stadium served as the venue of the Jarmark Europa , the biggest outdoor market in Europe. In addition to Polish stall holders, many traders came from the states of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Asia and Africa. In its heyday, the stadium drew up to 100,000 spectators for events such as soccer matches and the Peace Race, the biggest amateur cycling race in Eastern Europe after World War II.

The moto-cross competition highlighted that Warsaw now lacks a facility to put on an event of this type. Spectators from Poland and abroad filled all the spaces available on the specially built stands. Competitors performed acrobatic leaps on their motorcycles almost over the heads of fans closest to the track.

At the end of the competition, Sports Minister Mirosław Drzewiecki symbolically turned off the lights. The new National Stadium should appear on this historic site by 2012.
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