A new day with more optimism, has come for Greek Sport thanks to the remarkable results of the sponsorship program entitled "Adopt an Athlete on the Way to Rio 2016", a program inspired and implemented by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos.
The results of the program were presented in a brilliant event held at the HOC conference hall. Twenty-eight (28) sponsors, companies, banks and individuals, will support 55 athletes coming from 13 different sports for their preparation in view of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The event, presented by the journalist Popi Tsapanidou, was attended by the Deputy Sports Minister Giannis Andrianos, the General Secretary for sport Kyriaki Giannakidou, the HOC Secretary General Manolis Katsiadakis, members of the HOC Plenary Session, members of the Sport and Olympic family, relatives and friends of the athletes.
The HOC President, Spyros Capralos, underlined in his speech: The crisis that has afflicted our country has had major consequences on Greek sport too. In the old good times, the State allocated substantial amounts of money for sport. The federations received considerable funding from the state and the Hellenic Olympic Committee for the preparation of their top athletes in view of the Olympic Games. Big companies also supported this aim with important sums of money. But this era is just gone. The state funding for Sport has been cut down dramatically and keeps up doing so. The Hellenic Olympic Committee’s state budget has been reduced by more than 50%, now amounting to less than the money needed to cover for the staff’s salaries. The special state funding for the preparation of elite athletes was for the last time allocated by the state in 2009.
All this difficult situation of Greek Sport has been a deep concern for all of us and we have looked for solutions. In this gloomy scenery, the effort to attract sponsorships from the private sector was the only way forward. Especially now, that we have covered more than half way to the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro and the countdown has officially begun.
As a result, we could not stay restful.
To begin with, we compiled a portfolio, intended for individuals and companies, with personal data of the athletes, information on their sports career and distinctions as well as a budget for their preparation from 2014 to the Olympic Games of Rio in 2016. This portfolio is an introduction to the athletes’ profile and needs, so that the potential sponsors are able to make a selection according to their personal criteria.
Then, we adopted a "door-to door" approach, one might say, we took advantage of every single opportunity to raise the awareness of people who both wanted and were in a position to provide assistance. At this point, I have to mention the precious assistance provided by Mrs Nicoletta Panagiotopoulou, Member of the HOC Marketing Commission and dear friend of mine, who embraced this initiative with a lot of enthusiasm, and thanks to her love for sport, her contribution to the success of this program has been a very substantial one.
Today, we are very happy and proud, to announce the results of the program "Adopt an Athlete on the Way to Rio 2016", which was inspired some months ago and demanded great strenuous efforts for its implementation.
Twenty-eight businesses, banks and individuals, support 55 athletes and provide funding for their preparation, in direct contact with them and with no intervention whatsoever by third parties.
I would like to warmly thank all of you, the sponsors, participating in the program "Adopt an Athlete on the Way to Rio 2016". Our times are hard for both businesses and for us personally. I am also aware of the fact that most of you provide support in many other cases, beyond Sport. I am happy because, thanks to your assistance, our Country, which gave birth to the Olympic Games will be able to be represented by many athletes in Rio. I believe that our athletes will gain distinctions and their achievements will make all Greeks fell happy and proud! I am also sure that the funding that will be provided, that you will provide for the better preparation of our athletes, will pay off.
Your offer is not only an important offer for Greek sport. It is an important offer for Greece now that, more than ever, is in need of celebrating achievements and presenting a positive image to the whole world.
It is also a powerful message that the sports youth of our country must not be abandoned, as it keeps holding up the Greek flag, with important achievements and distinctions at top international contests.
And you, our top athletes, I am sure that you will now feel differently. Not only because the funding for your preparation will be improved, but mostly because you will have with you all those people who support you financially. I know that love and interest is something needed by all athletes."
The Deputy Sports Minister Giannis Andrianos in his address said: "I would like to congratulate the HOC and Spyros Capralos personally for this very significant initiative to support the Greek Athletes in their preparation ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. I also want to congratulate the sponsors on their social responsibility in difficult economic times, where sport, like all social goods, have been hit financially."
The athletes and the companies, banks and individuals who "adopted" them:
NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE, the athletes of rowing Katerina Nikolaidou, Panagiotis Magdanis, Spyros Giannaros, Lefteris Konsolas, Giorgos Konsolas, Giannis Christou, Giorgos Tziallas, Giannis Tsilis, Dionysis Aggelopoulos and the athlete of gymnastics Lefteris Kosmidis.
STOIXIMAN.GR, the athletes of gymnastics Lefteris Petrounias, Vaso Millousi and the athlete of athletics Katerina Stefanidou.
ATTICA BANK, the athlete of gymnastics Vlassis Maras.
Mrs Amalia Vardinogianni, the athlete of gymnastics Vasilis Tsolakidis.
Mr Dimitris Gkertsos, the athlete of rhythmic gymnastics Varvara Filiou.
PIRAEUS BANK, the national rhythmic gymnastics ensemble team with Lambrini Vlachogianni, Anastasia
Giouvanaki, Eleni Doika, Olga Malafeka, Stefania Mitsana, Zoi Kontogianni, Stavroula Samara, Kyriaki Fthinou.
Mrs Katerina Panagopoulou and Mrs Melina Travlou, the sailing team of the Nacra category Sophia Bekatorou and Konstantinos Trigkonis.
STARBULK CARRIERS Corp., the sailing team of the 470 category Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis.
GLOBO, the sailing athlete Viron Kokkalanis.
GOLDEN CARGO S.A., the sailing team of the 470 category Stathis Papadopoulos and Panagiotis Kambouridis.
Mr Petros Pappas, the athlete of shooting Nikos Mavromatis.
Mrs Milena Pappa, the athlete of shooting Efthimis Mitas.
EUROBANK ERGASIAS S.A., the athlete of shooting Efthimis Mitas.
EUROBANK ERGASIAS S.A., the athlete of swimming Spyros Gianniotis.
INTRALOT, the athlete of swimming Apostolos Christou.
GENESIS PHARMA, the athlete of swimming Keli Araouzou.
JOHN S. LATSIS PUBLIC BENEFIT FOUNDATION, the athletes of athletics Louis Tsatoumas and Nicol Kyriakopoulou.
ERNST & YOUNG, the athlete of athletics Kostas Douvalidis-Riks.
HELLENIC PETROLEUM, the athletes of athletics Kostas Filippidis and Antonis Mastoras.
EUROPEAN DYNAMICS, the athlete of athletics Stefanos Lykourgos Tsakonas.
RADIANT TECHNOLOGIES, the athlete of athletics Maria Belibasaki.
Mr Dinos Economou, the athlete of athletics Anastasia Karakatsani.
PRICE WATERHOUSE COOPERS, the athlete of mountain bike Periklis Ilias.
SWISSMARINE INC, AKTAI TINOU and STOIXIMAN.GR, the beach volleyball athletes Vicky Arvaniti and Maria Tsiatsiani.
Mr Giannis Katsaras, the athletes of beach volleyball Giorgos Kotsiliano and Niko Zoupani.
MEADWAY SHIPPING & TRADING INC, the athlete of wrestling Maria Prevolaraki.
MARCUS EVANS, the judo athletes Ilias Iliadis, Alexios Ntanatsidis, Giorgos Azoidis, Roman Moustopoulos and Elisavet Teltsidou.
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