The establishment of a Polish state is often identified with the adoption of Christianity by its ruler Mieszko I, in 966 , when the state covered territory similar to that of present-day Poland. In 1025, Poland became a kingdom and in 1569, it cemented a long association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, by signing the Union of Lublin, forming the Polish–Lithuani Commonwealth. The Commonwealth collapsed in 1795 and Poland's territory was partitioned among Kingdom of Prussia, Russian Empire and Austria. Poland regained its independence as the Second Polish Republic in 1918, after World War I, but lost it again in World War II, then occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Poland lost over six million citizens in World War II, emerging several years later as the socialist People's Republic of Poland within the Eastern Bloc, under strong Soviet influence.
During the Revolutions of 1989, communist rule was overthrown and Poland became what is constitutionally known as the "Third Polish Republic". Poland is a unitary state, made up of sixteen voivodeships. Poland is also a member of the European Union, NATO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Poland in 2008 Games:
Poland competed at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The country's delegation included 268 athletes
268 in 22 sports
Flag bearer Marek Twardowski(opening)Tomasz Majewski (closing)
MedalsRank: 20, Gold3, Silver6, Bronze1, Total10