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25 December 2018 | in FISU

Best Side Story: Love on the Sidelines in 2018

The proposal that took the World University Cheerleading Championship by surprise


Christmas is all about love, family and a fuzzy, warm feeling. So, let’s give you a story that will warm the cockles of your heart. What happened at the World University Cheerleading Championship in October this year was perhaps the story of the year for us at FISU. And no, it had nothing to with sport but everything to do with love.


When 26-year-old Patrycja Cyniak was called onto the stage on the last day of the Championship, she didn’t give it a second thought. After all, as Vice-Chair of the Organising Committee, she was one of the key people running the event. It was only when her boyfriend Marek Miskiewicz walked up holding a bouquet of flowers, that it dawned up her something else altogether was happening. In the next few seconds, Patrycja’s life was about to change and a dream was about to come true. Marek went down on bended knee, proposed to her under the spotlight and the rest, as we say, is now history.


“It was the first day of studies for him,” Patrycja – or Patt as she prefers to be addressed – recounts that momentous day. Marek had just embarked upon a degree in engineering and had shown up at the Championship venue in a fine suit. The problem was, he was also helping Patt as a volunteer at the event. Patt laughs and says, “I was shouting at him, telling him he had to change his clothes and that he cannot be there in a suit!”


She says it slipped her mind shortly after though, as the closing ceremony was coming up and she had enough on her plate. “It was very stressful,” she says. “There were so many things to do and I was very tired. That’s when he came to me and informed me about a change in programme saying that I will be needed on stage.”


Marek tells us that it wasn’t suspicious at all for him to be relaying such information as he was closely involved with all the functions as a volunteer.


“I was the driver, the water-boy, the usher… everything that evening,” says the former national-level rugby player. “So, it wasn’t surprising that I was talking to everyone. She didn’t suspect anything.”


Patt confirms. “I saw my parents in the crowd, but it wasn’t weird for me because they live nearby. Then I saw my friend too and I thought maybe she came to see this spectacular sport. I think I was a little stupid that day! Or maybe just too busy.” She laughs as she tells us this, but she knows it was not easy for him to pull such a public proposal off. “Marek is a very shy person,” she says fondly. “He doesn’t like being around too many people. I always thought if we get engaged it will be in a quiet place with just both of us present.”


So, how did this very public proposal happen then?


“Ever since he started volunteering with me at the Floorball Championship and then at Cheerleading, I think he has changed a lot,” says Patt. “He made new friendships and he likes our university sports environment. He often visits us after work.”


Marek, an IT guy when he’s not down on bended knee, tells us why he really did it that way. “I’m indeed a very private person, so it was a really big challenge for me to do it like that. But I did it for her. I knew she dreamt of this kind of proposal.”


“Moreover, the ring arrived that same day,” he explains further. He had ordered the ring some time back and he just happened to receive the call to go pick it up that afternoon. And once he picked it up, he decided that it was going to be then and there.


“I had four hours to do everything. I had to talk to the Organising Committee, to the technical delegate from the International Cheer Union, with Julien Carrel from FISU, with the announcer, with the audio technicians – just everyone!”

In hindsight, Marek feels it was the best decision ever. “If you ask me if I would do it again like that, I would say yes,” he laughs. “I wake up every morning just to meet her and to make her smile.”


Patt can still barely believe it. “You know last year when I was twenty-five, I had given up. I thought love like this will never happen to me. I had stopped searching. I believe when you stop looking that’s when you find something.”


They don’t plan to get married for the next two or three years as they are young and have much to achieve on the professional front. Patrycja is in fact planning the big date based on her professional commitments.


“I’m thinking about April 2021 because in 2020 we have the World University Championships and in 2021 there are the EUSA (European University Sports Association) Games,” she says in all seriousness. “We have two and a half years to go and I think I’m so well organized that it will be smooth sailing.”


Marek too, is in no hurry but is already looking forward to life together with Patrycja. “I believe the most important thing is that we are best friends,” he says. “I always wanted to be with someone who is not only a girlfriend but a friend. We are not family yet, but it is already the same kind of feeling.”


We couldn’t be happier for them. Watch the video for your ‘aww...’ moment of the day. Merry Christmas and a love-filled New Year to all!  



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