Sport mega events are the most prominent manifestations of the multidimensional and global interrelation between sport and politics. The purpose of the paper is to present the contrasting cases of two Polish SMEs: UEFA European Championships in football (Euro, 2012) and the bid for Winter Olympic Games Cracow 2022. This article pays special attention to the role of Polish political elite in promoting both events and to the grassroots movement that effectively ended the bidding for the latter event. It also discusses how the allegedly successful Euro 2012 tournament was presented in the public discourse in order to avoid conflicts and debates about the very idea of hosting the games. This proved unsuccessful in the latter case. This case deserves scrutiny as it is an unusual example of effective bottom up mobilization of civil society against the whole political elite.

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