Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is there life after the Euro 2012?

Is there life after the Euro 2012? Commonly asked question after thetournament. It has been extraordinary event and going to be hard to imagineKhreshatik and generally Kiev streets without fanzone, football fans andinternational environment. According to Ukrainian news sources, 8 millionpeople and 2 million vehicles crossed the border of Ukraine in June. It’s too early to count income and possible differencewith expenditure, but one thing that cannot be counted is the promotion andimage of Ukraine around Europe.

Despite the badpublicity in western media, also backed by the boycott of major Europeanleaders, Ukraine didn’t feel lack of international spectators. Certainly thenumber of visitors could be twice more, but the message will get across anyways.Ukraine has been exceptionally friendly and welcoming host. I had a feelingthat entire country was involved in the tournament in their small circles, bydoing little favour, smiling or helping guests from all over the world.

As regards tothe organisational issues, I personally had no high expectations about theevent. Ukraine and Poland are not Germany, or Austria-Switzerland (the previoushosts). Hence I was expecting shortcomings in organisational extent. But aftera month being part of the UEFA volunteer team, I should say that everythingwent smoothly and cannot recall a single incident from the whole tournament. Itwas indeed a great experience for Ukraine and post factum of the championship Imust say that giving a chance to Poland and Ukraine for hosting such a bigevent was undoubtedly good decision of UEFA. Infrastructure, generaldevelopment of the country, intercultural experience between different Europeanpeople is incomplete list of the benefits of such event.

Thanks toUkrainian tycoon Pinchuk, Kiev based fans had a privilege to enjoy free concertof Sir Elton John and Queen, with its new soloist Adam Lambert, who was a majordiscovery with his amazing voice and performing style. This concert has beenperfect edition of the Euro 2012.

Too many thingshappened in a month and hard to cover everything in one blog post, but takingglance to the June 2012, I can say that it has been the most amazing summer inmy life. Thank you Ukraine and thank you each and every individual who madethis month so memorable for me. There is indeed a life after Euro’12, slightlysad but full of positive emotions and wishes that once we’ll be back to thiscountry.