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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » May 20, 2009
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From the Editor-in-Chief
May 20, 2009   
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We were both elated and uncertain, vacillating between faith and lack of self-confidence, after UEFA announced two years ago that it had selected Poland and Ukraine to jointly host the Euro 2012 soccer championships. The announcement was music to our ears. But it immediately awakened some typically Polish reactions. Some said we won't cope and flounder in chaos instead; that they'll take the championships away from us, and give them to someone else; that we'll be compromised. Others rubbed their hands with glee, saying that it's a huge opportunity for our country because we will gain new infrastructure, new investment projects; raise our profile internationally; make money-and all this will take just a few years rather than decades because our hands are tied by international contracts and deadlines.

The past year or so has seen the mood in the country fluctuate from utter pessimism to euphoria. Michał Herra, CEO of the PL2012 company, which is tasked with coordinating Poland's preparations for the championships, says questions about whether Poland will deliver are still being asked, but specific projects are beginning to take shape.

Of course, Euro 2012 is a huge opportunity and a huge test. Of course, everything will go well and the project will result in multiple financial benefits for Poland. But it will also result in something even more valuable. Mastering a great challenge leads to self-confidence, to a belief that we can do it, that we can make it work. The most important outcome of the Euro 2012 success story will be that we will manage to change our mindset in the process.
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