Polish Olympic Champion’s use of Air Force roundel causes controversy

A Polish athlete won the gold medal using a helmet decorated with the Polish Air Force emblem

Kamil Stoch, the best Polish ski jumper, was allowed by the Polish Ministry of National Defense to use the Polish Air Force roundel on his helmet during the Sochi Olympics and the badge on his helmet caused controversy well before the Putin’s Winter Games started: some media outlets argued that if the world champion had failed, then the comparison to the Smolensk crash, would have been inevitable.

A bit far fetched considered that the 2010 Polish Air Force Ty-154 crashe caused 96 fatalities!

Fortunately, Kamil Stoch won the gold in the men’s normal hill ski jumping on Feb. 9.

The Polish Ministry of Defense considers the use of emblem as an act of patriotism.

The Air Force checkerboard is the national marking of the Polish aircraft. Initially it was used as personal insignia of Stefan Stec, a Polish fighter pilot, and then in December 1918 it became a national roundel.

Photo Credit: Grzegorz Momot / Polish Press Agency

Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist


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About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.