Participants in the Nanga Parbat rescue operation awarded the Knight's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Medal by the President of Poland
The event was attended by Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Bańka.
President Andrzej Duda awarded the Knight's Cross of the Polonia Restituta Medal of to the mountain climbers who participated in the Polish Winter 2017/2018 National Expedition to K2 and the extreme rescue operation at Nanga Parbat in January 2018. Risking their lives, they went to rescue climbers descending from the summit: Elizabeth Revol (France) and Tomasz Mackiewicz (Poland). Minister of Sport and Tourism Witold Bańka requested the President of Poland to award the Medals to them.
Thank you for representing Poland in such a principled manner. Thank you for your attitude that has been truly remarkable. Whenever a man is ready to take a risk, but above all whenever he is ready to give his life to save others, it is always an extraordinary moment, President Duda said during the ceremony.
The following persons were decorated with the KNIGHT’S CROSS OF THE POLONIA RESTITUTA MEDAL for outstanding achievements in the development of mountain climbing and for promoting the name of Poland in the world:
Adam BIELECKI – mountain climber, made the first winter ascents of two eight-thousanders: Gasherbrum I and Broad Peak. Member of the Polish national mountain climbing team.
Piotr TOMALA – mountain climber, head of the Artur Hajzer Polish Winter Himalaism programme, member of the national team of the Polish Mountaineering Association.
Denis URUBKO – one of the most outstanding Himalayan mountain climbers in the world, has conquered all eight-thousanders and made the first winter ascents of Makalu and Gasherbrum II.
Jarosław BOTOR* – paramedic, volunteer mountain rescue service member, mountain climber (*will be awarded the Medal at a later date).
The President of Poland handed over to Piotr Snopczyński, head of the base camp of the National Winter Expedition to K2 and one of the most experienced leaders of Polish mountain climbing, the state flag of the Republic of Poland together with a special inscription to mark the occasion.
Piotr Tomala, on behalf of the expedition members, gave the President of Poland a gift in the form of two framed commemorative photos from the Polish National Winter Expedition to K2.
Photo: Krzysztof Sitkowski/ KPRP