World Polonia Games
Światowe Igrzyska Polonijne
Opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter World Polonia Games in Zakopane
GenreMulti-sport event
Inaugurated1934; 90 years ago (1934) (summer)
1986; 38 years ago (1986) (winter)
Organised byAssociation "Polish Community"
WebsiteWorld Polonia Games

The World Polonia Games (Polish: Światowe Igrzyska Polonijne) are a multi-sport event held annually for the Polish diaspora (Polonia) and Polish minorities living outside of Poland.[citation needed] Held annually and alternating between summer and winter games each year, the games bring hundreds of participants from multiple countries worldwide, such as Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.[1]

The first World Polonia Games were held in 1934 in Warsaw, with 381 athletes from 13 countries. Following a four decade break, the games were revived in 1974 in Kraków and have been held more regularly since.[1] Seventeen different host cities throughout Poland have hosted an installation of the event.[2] Today, the games are organized by the Association "Polish Community" and are covered by TVP Polonia.[3]

The XXI Summer World Polonia Games, its most recent installation, were held in August 2023 in Nysa and Wrocław.[4] The most recent winter games, the XV Winter World Polonia Games, were held in February 2022 in Wisła, Silesian Voivodeship.[5]


Background and the first games

The German football team at the 1934 games in Warsaw.

As early as the turn of the century around 1900, during the period of the third partition of Poland, Polish athletes travelled to participate on sports competitions.[1] For example, the "Meeting of the Polish Falconers' Union" (Zlot Sokolstwa Polskiego), which took place in Kraków in 1910 on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Tannenberg, in which around 10,000 Poles from Europe and the United States took part in. Sports and athleticism was developed in Poland in the 1930s, during the time of the independent Second Polish Republic, with the nation participating in the Olympic Games.[1] The growing enthusiasm for sports led to the establishment of numerous Polish sports clubs in the diaspora.[1]

At a "Congress of the Organizing Council of Poles Abroad” in Warsaw in 1933, the "First Polonia Sports Games" (I. Polonijne Igrzyska Sportowe, PIS) were organized for Poles living outside of Poland (including those from the Free City of Danzig).[2] Its organizing committee was headed by the Marshal of the Senate Władysław Raczkiewicz. The firsrt games were held in 1934 in Warsaw, and 400 athletes took part from 13 nations worldwide.[2] The opening ceremony on August 1, 1934, in Warsaw's Stadion Wojska Polskiego was attended by the President of Poland Ignacy Mościcki.[1] The largest team was made up of Poles from the Free City of Danzig with 64 competitors, with the most successful teams being those from France, Danzig, and Czechoslovakia.[1]

The modern games

Team Canada at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter World Polonia Games in Zakopane.

The Second World War and post-war tension resulted in a four decade break in the games until its revival in 1974 in Kraków. Even then, authorities initially prevented the participation of Poles from the Soviet Union and its successor states until the nation's collapse in 1991.[2] In 1986, the first winter World Polonia Games took place in Zakopane for the first time. They were originally held every three years from 1986 to 1992, but have now been held every two years since 2000 after an eight-year break.[6]

In 1990, the association "Polish Community" (Stowarzyszenie "Wspólnota Polska") was founded in Warsaw, which organizes the World Games to this day. The aim of the association is to strengthen ties among Poles living abroad.[1] The association's longtime chairman, the politician Andrzej Stelmachowski, campaigned for a revival of the Games in the 1990s. At the 1991 Summer Games, participants had the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul II, who was present at the event.[1]

Since 1997, the main media patron and co-organizer of the games has been TVP Polonia.[3] The games have been held annually, with the event alternating between summer and winter games each year, since 1999; Summer Games are held in odd-numbered years and Winter Games in even-numbered years. Games hosts vary, while the regular hosts of the Winter Games have been the Beskids (6 times; consisting of the cities of Bielsko Biała, Cieszyn, Szczyrk, Tychy, and Wisła together) and Zakopane (5 times).[7] In 2018, the Winter Games were brought to Krynica-Zdrój for the first time.[8]

The games continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 Ukrainian refugee crisis, although to a reduced extent and with increased health and safety precautions in place for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 games.[9] The games continued with their regular layout in 2023 with the XXI Summer World Polonia Games in Nysa and Wroclaw.[4]


Summer Games

In addition to a children's and family tournament, the Summer Games have consisted of:


Winter Games

In addition to a children's and family tournament, the Winter Games have consisted of:


Participating nations

The games are open to any Polish person or person of Polish descent who does not permanently live in Poland.[11] Participating nations at the World Polonia Games have included those listed in the table below.[citation needed] Numbers indicate the number of times nations have topped a games medal table.[citation needed]

Participant nations at the World Polonia Games


Notable people



Additional guests at the 2011 Summer Games opening ceremony in Wrocław included Jacek Bocian, Jan Brzeźny, Piotr Rysiukiewicz, Ryszard Szurkowski, and Urszula Włodarczyk.[17] Numerous Polish Olympians were also present during the 2011 Summer Games, including Halina Aszkiełowicz-Wojno, Włodzimierz Chlebosz, Mariusz Jędra, Mieczysław Łopatka, Ryszard Podlas, and Leszek Swornowski.[13]

List of World Polonia Games

Summer Games

No. Year Host Games dates Disciplines Competitors Nations Top nation
I 1934 Masovian Voivodeship Warsaw 1–8 Aug 7 381 13  France
II 1937 Masovian Voivodeship Warsaw Postponed and later cancelled
II 1974 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Kraków 17–21 Jul 11 319 13  Czechoslovakia
III 1977 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Kraków 17–20 Jul 12 687 15  Czechoslovakia
IV 1981 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Kraków 15–19 Jul 11 383 12  Czechoslovakia
V 1984 Masovian Voivodeship Warsaw 15–20 Jul 14 495 15  Czechoslovakia
VI 1987 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Kraków 26–31 Jul 16 1300 29  Czechoslovakia
VII 1991 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Kraków 4–12 Aug 12 271 14  Czechoslovakia
VIII 1997 Lublin Voivodeship Lublin 24–31 Aug 13 600 24  Belarus
IX 1999 Lublin Voivodeship Lublin 23–29 Aug 12 350 16  Latvia
X 2001 Pomeranian Voivodeship Sopot 29 Jul – 6 Aug 17 789 21  Germany
XI 2003 Greater Poland Voivodeship Poznań 26 Jul – 2 Aug 16 700 22  Belarus
XII 2005 Masovian Voivodeship Warsaw 6–14 Aug 18 1000 28  Belarus
XIII 2007 Pomeranian Voivodeship Słupsk 28 Jul – 4 Aug 21 1068 28  Germany
XIV 2009 Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship Toruń 1–9 Aug 23 1101 28  Germany
XV 2011 Lower Silesian Voivodeship Wrocław 29 Jul – 6 Aug 28 1682 31  Germany
XVI 2013 Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Kielce 3–10 Aug 18 1000 30  Czech Republic
XVII 2015 Lower Silesian Voivodeship Silesia[a] 2–8 Aug 20 800 29  Belarus
XVIII 2017 Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship Toruń 29 Jul – 6 Aug 23 1000 32  Czech Republic
XIX 2019 Pomeranian Voivodeship Gdynia 27 Jul – 4 Aug 22 1268 27  Czech Republic
XX 2021 Masovian Voivodeship Pułtusk 19–24 Sep 17 500 27  Czech Republic
XXI 2023 Lower Silesian Voivodeship Nysa-Wrocław 26 – 31 Aug 600 24  Czech Republic


Winter Games

No. Year Host Games dates Disciplines Competitors Nations Top nation
I 1986 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Zakopane 6 200 10 n/a[b]
II 1989 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Zakopane 8 146 17 n/a[b]
III 1992 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Zakopane 2–7 Feb n/a[c] n/a[b]
IV 2000 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 28 Feb – 5 Mar 4 215 17  Czech Republic
V 2002 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 1–6 Mar 6 550 20  Czech Republic
VI 2004 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 28 Feb – 3 Mar 7 625 23  Czech Republic
VII 2006 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 24 Feb – 2 Mar 7 664 24  Czech Republic
VIII 2008 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 29 Feb – 5 Mar 7 500 20  Canada
IX 2010 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Zakopane 6–14 Mar 12 730 25  Czech Republic
X 2012 Silesian Voivodeship Beskids[d] 25 Feb – 3 Mar 10 600 23  Lithuania
XI 2014 Lower Silesian Voivodeship Karkonosze[e] 23 Feb – 1 Mar 10 600 23  Lithuania
XII 2016 Subcarpathian Voivodeship Podkarpackie[f] 29 Feb – 4 Mar 12 500 16  Lithuania
XIII 2018 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Krynica-Zdrój 25 Feb – 1 Mar 9 546 22  Czech Republic
XIV 2020 Lesser Poland Voivodeship Krynica-Zdrój 20–23 Dec 4 120 10 n/a[g]
XV 2022 Silesian Voivodeship Wisła 27 Feb – 3 Mar 10 500 21  Czech Republic


Host cities

Host cities of World Polonia Games
Host cities of Summer World Polonia Games
Host cities of Winter World Polonia Games
Number of occurrences

Medal tables

Summer Games

2013 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[22]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)436253158
2 Lithuania (LIT)434231116
3 Canada (CAN)413425100
4 Germany (GER)41201576
5 Belarus (BLR)34211974
6 United States (USA)26342787
7 Austria (AUT)24283082
8 Ukraine (UKR)2182049
9 Russia (RUS)16172053
10 Moldova (MLD)1291031
Totals (27 entries)353318289960
2015 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[22]
1 Belarus (BLR)673931137
2 Lithuania (LIT)484546139
3 Czech Republic (CZE)445346143
4 Germany (GER)34141058
5 United States (USA)24271970
6 Canada (CAN)22231762
7 Austria (AUT)21171351
8 Moldova (MLD)158629
9 Spain (ESP)96419
10 Sweden (SWE)73111
Totals (28 entries)315279228822
2017 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[22]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)545354161
2 Lithuania (LIT)524957158
3 Belarus (BLR)38293097
4 Canada (CAN)37253698
5 Germany (GER)16211653
6 Spain (ESP)15181649
7 United States (USA)1281131
8 Moldova (MLD)115319
9 Austria (AUT)9181542
10 France (FRA)7111634
Totals (32 entries)289271296856
2019 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[22]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)746978221
2 Belarus (BLR)433327103
3 Lithuania (LIT)384042120
4 Canada (CAN)28173176
5 Spain (ESP)25303893
6 Moldova (MLD)2412844
7 United States (USA)1812838
8 France (FRA)14161141
9 Austria (AUT)10222456
10 Germany (GER)10182149
Totals (27 entries)3283273481003
2021 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[23]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)516553169
2 Lithuania (LIT)373628101
3 Belgium (BEL)3193373
4 Austria (AUT)189633
5 Germany (GER)95519
6 United States (USA)57416
7 Russia (RUS)46717
8 Canada (CAN)3238
9 Armenia (ARM)3126
10 Ukraine (UKR)2248
Totals (22 entries)171169171511
2023 Summer World Polonia Games medal table[24]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)575945161
2 Lithuania (LIT)423342117
3 Austria (AUT)29261570
4 France (FRA)14131037
5 Norway (NOR)8191037
6 United States (USA)86418
7 Germany (GER)78823
8 Canada (CAN)74314
9 Kazakhstan (KAZ)74213
10 Great Britain (GBR)71210
Totals (19 entries)199182161542

Winter Games

2016 Winter World Polonia Games medal table[25]
1 Lithuania (LIT)423334109
2 Czech Republic (CZE)32262381
3 Belarus (BLR)10151540
4 Russia (RUS)610622
5 Canada (CAN)53614
6  Switzerland (SUI)5106
7 United States (USA)4048
8 Austria (AUT)37313
9 Luxembourg (LUX)3418
10 Norway (NOR)2349
Totals (17 entries)115117111343
2018 Winter World Polonia Games medal table[26]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)21111749
2 Lithuania (LIT)14181244
3 Belarus (BLR)12111538
4 Russia (RUS)512926
5 Germany (GER)4037
6 United States (USA)39214
7 Sweden (SWE)3025
8 Kazakhstan (KAZ)2215
9 Hungary (HUN)2114
10 Canada (CAN)1102
Totals (17 entries)696969207
2022 Winter World Polonia Games medal table[27]
1 Czech Republic (CZE)32272685
2 Lithuania (LIT)22202163
3 Belarus (BLR)76417
4 Austria (AUT)2338
5 Hungary (HUN)1203
6 United States (USA)1012
7 Sweden (SWE)1001
  Switzerland (SUI)1001
9 Kazakhstan (KAZ)0527
10 Luxembourg (LUX)0235
Totals (16 entries)676767201

Medal leaders by year

Main article: World Polonia Games medal tables

Summer Games

Winter Games

See also


  1. ^ Hosted by the cities of Chorzów, Rybnik, Sosnowiec, and Wodzisław Śląski.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Team classification was not conducted at the first three installations of the World Polonia Winter Games.
  3. ^ Source material for the 1992 Games was lost.[12]
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hosted by the cities of Bielsko Biała, Cieszyn, Szczyrk, Tychy, and Wisła.
  5. ^ Hosted by the cities of Jelenia Góra, Szklarska Poręba, Sobieszów, and Jablonec nad Jizerou (Czech Republic).
  6. ^ Hosted by the cities of Ustrzyki Dolne, Sanok, and Przemyśl.
  7. ^ a b Team classification was not conducted at the XIV Winter Games because of its reduced size due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Igrzyska Polonijne - Team Canada". Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Woltmann-Żebrowska, Małgorzata (2012). "Lekkoatletyka na polonijnych igrzyskach sportowych w Polsce w latach 1934-2011" (PDF). Prace Naukowe Akademii im. Jana Długosza w Częstochowie. Kultura Fizyczna. 11: 83–98.
  3. ^ a b S.A, Telewizja Polska. "Wystartowały Światowe Igrzyska Polonijne". (in Polish). Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  4. ^ a b c "STOWARZYSZENIE WSPÓLNOTA POLSKA POLECA: Zakończenie XXI Światowych Letnich Igrzysk Polonijnych". (in Polish). Stowarzyszenie Wspólnota Polska. Retrieved 2023-09-02.
  6. ^ Kamińska, Katarzyna (2021-01-11). "Światowe Igrzyska Polonijne: święto sportu ponad granicami". (in Polish). Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  7. ^ "Zaproszenie na X Światowe Zimowe Igrzyska Polonijne". (in Polish). 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  8. ^ "XIII Światowe Zimowe Igrzyska Polonijne 26.02.-2.03 - Jaworzyna Krynicka". Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  9. ^ "Zaproszenie na Wielkie Święto Sportu Polonijnego do malowniczej Wisły". (in Polish). Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  10. ^ a b "Światowe Letnie Igrzyska Polonijne". Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  11. ^ Sapiejka, Dariusz. "Podziękowania Stowarzyszenia "Wspólnota Polska" za wsparcie organizacji XX Światowych Igrzysk Polonijnych w Pułtusku".
  12. ^ a b c d e f Nowak, Leonard. "Timeline of World Polonia Winter Games (1986–2016)" (PDF). Prace Naukowe. 2017 (3): 85–105.
  13. ^ a b c d "Podsumowano igrzyska polonijne". 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2022-02-08.
  14. ^ a b Nowak, Leonard. "Timeline of Summer World Polonia Games (1934–2015)" (PDF). Prace Naukowe. 2016 (4): 69–87.
  15. ^ "Igrzyska Polonijne - Team Canada". Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  16. ^ Witkowski, Paweł. "Polonia Kanadyjska poraz drugi drugą ekipą igrzysk". Retrieved 2022-02-08.
  17. ^ a b Starczak-Kozłowska, Krystyna. "Polskich sportowców gromada - to Kanada !". Retrieved 2022-02-08.
  18. ^ a b "Światowe Zimowe Igrzyska Polonijne Szczyrk 2006". Archived from the original on 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  19. ^ "Światowe Letnie Igrzyska Polonijne". (in Polish). 2017-07-13. Retrieved 2022-02-04.
  20. ^ ""XIV ŚWIATOWE ZIMOWE IGRZYSKA POLONIJNE - KRYNICA ZDRÓJ 2020"". Retrieved 2022-02-05.
  21. ^ ""Stowarzyszenie Wspólnota Polska"". Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  22. ^ a b c d "Standings". Team Kanada. 10 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  23. ^ "Klasyfikacje i wyniki zawodów". Stowarzyszenia "Wspólnota Polska". Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  24. ^ "ZAKOŃCZENIE XXI ŚWIATOWYCH LETNICH IGRZYSK POLONIJNYCH". Wspolnota Polska. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  25. ^ "Klasyfikacja Medalowa". Wspolnota Polska. Retrieved 9 February 2022.