The King has left the building... and come back!
But Matyja will be playing at the Disentis stop this weekend.
Matyja positioned himself as one of the winter sport's most prominent athletes when the Snow Volleyball European Tour came under the CEV’s umbrella for the 2016 season. By making it into the top four teams in the final standings at all three stops on the 2016 Tour, he collected the most individual points for the season among all male players and was proclaimed the first CEV King of the Snow. He started the 2017 season with a bronze medal at the first official international snow volleyball competition outside Europe - in Dizin, Iran. He has made one appearance so far on the 2017 CEV European Tour - in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czechia - and won a silver medal.
Matyja is currently at #1 in the individual CEV Snow Volleyball Ranking. He and his 2017 partner Piotr Janiak had also registered to play at all Tour stops from Switzerland all the way through to the finale in Italy. That is why his retirement announcement came out as a bit of a shock to the snow volleyball connoisseurs.
In his Facebook announcement, Matyja first personally thanked each of his partners on the snow throughout his successful five-year run. “As you have probably guessed by now, you are reading my farewell to this discipline. However, it will remain in my mind and in my heart forever. I will always return to it in my memories,” continued Matyja, who explained that the reason for his decision was linked to not finding sponsorship this season.
But there is a happy end to this story. Very soon after the news about Matyja’s withdrawal and the reasons behind it appeared in the Polish media, a sponsor appeared.
“I am so glad I found a sponsor and we will be able to take part in the rest of the tournaments,” Michal said. “I would like to thank Mr. Radek Siuda and his real estate company for that! I am very excited to play in Switzerland this weekend, especially considering what beautiful views await us there!”
For the Disentis tournament, Matyja will team up with Maciej Klimas. “Piotr Janiak has to skip this event for family reasons, but I hope we will play together for the rest of the Tour,” Michal explained. He and Klimas will be the top-seeded duo in the men’s competition.
The fourth stop on the 2017 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour for men and women in Disentis will take place on Saturday, March 11, and Sunday, March 12. On Friday, March 10, the two snow courts built for the tournament will host a snow volleyball Kids Day.
For more detailed information on the European Tour, visit SnowVolleyball.com and the CEV’s dedicated pages.