In 2014, January, I was a EURO virgin. Never before had I travelled to an event of such magnitude. The sheer scale of the event left my senses reeling. It was a hedonic delight for a devotee of handball. It was an epicurean feast, not food-wise as fish seems to dominate the menu, but rather for the senses. My eyes, ears and heart were opened in Denmark to the efforts of all involved.
The Danes are handball crazy and the added to the success of the event, but expect no less from the Poles. They are sports crazy and in the pantheon of sports handball is very high on the list just remember the record attendance for a friendly match between Kielce and PSG. Oh yes, we can expect a wonderful event in Poland.
The symbiotic relationship between volunteers, organising committee, EHF and the media, means that although there will be hiccups along the way, ups and downs, highs and lows, the overall sense of achievement at the end gives a feeling of family, of people who you would have with you in the foxhole.
Indeed this background team just lays the path for the players to take. All efforts are made to make sure players feel as comfortable as they can be during their long sojourn, in what for most of them is a foreign country.
Spare a thought for these men, for even though it is an honour and a privelege to represent your country, it is still a hard road to drag your aching body out of bed morning after morning to don the national jersey and give your all.
Day after long day, the fans travel, the players play, the media interview, the volunteers work and the committee organise. Each part is vital to the success. It is hard work, but along the way there is great fun.
I can only speak for myself when I say that last time out in Denmark, my team, Daniele, Teo and I had so many laughs along the way. What kept us going was your reaction to what we did. If you enjoyed what we did, we worked harder to make the next one better.
I can't believe it's been two years since the last one. I don't know where the time has gone. This is my last one for sure. So I promise that we will try to outdo ourselves one more time. Hey, and if you see us along the road, say hello, or hola, or Guten Tag, or Dzień Dobry. You might just make our highlights reel.