The Hellenic Olympic Committee honored the athletes-parents who qualified for “Paris 2024” Olympic Games

The Hellenic Olympic Committee’s Gender Equality Committee honored the athletes who are parents and secured qualification within 2023, for the “Paris 2024″ Olympic Games, while also spreading a message for more Gender Equity in sports.

The athletes honored were:

Efthymios Mitas, Shooting

Lefteris Petrounias, Gymnastics

Yannis Foundoulis, Water polo

Christian Golomeev, Swimming

Speeches were addressed at the event by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and IOC member Spyros Capralos, the Deputy Minister of Social Cohesion and Family Maria Alexandra Kefala, the General Secretary for Equality and Human Rights Zefi Dimadama and the Hellenic Olympic Committee Gender Equity Committee Vasiliki Millousi.

 Mr. Capralos, mentioned: “The Hellenic Olympic Committee will be at the side of the athletes we are honoring today, in every part of their journey until Paris and the 2024 Olympic Games. As well as on the side of all athletes who claim qualification for the Olympic Games. Until now in 2023 which is the main pre-olympic year, the Hellenic Olympic Committee has given more than one million, six hundred thousand euros for olympic preparation. Funding given in order for the athletes to continue their preparation in the best possible way and to claim the qualification for Paris. These funds come from the Hellenic Olympic Committee’s own resources. We secure them from sponsors but mainly from the proper exploitation of our property and sadly not from the state. I will not hide from you that unfortunately the grant for the year 2023 amounts to €480,250, reduced by 15% compared to the previous years and even in view of the Olympic year!”

Vassiliki Millousi said: “I know very well how difficult it is to be an elite athlete and at the same time have the responsibilities of parenthood. Nothing is the same anymore, everything is directed towards your children. Today we reward the athletes for this effort. I also know what it means to be a woman in sports. Because of the position in the Hellenic Olympic Committee, but also as a female champion and a mother of two daughters, I could not ignore to defend the position of women in the field of sports that I love so much. We are capable and now with more support, the future can only be secured.”

This was followed by a discussion panel on the topic: “Proposals for more equality in the leadership of Greek sports”. The Olympic champion and Vice-President of the World Weightlifting Federation      Pyrros Dimas, the IOC Athlete Participation and Qualification Criteria Director, Melina Xanthopoulou participated and submitted personal testimonies and proposals, the Director of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Yvette Kosmetatou, the President of the Hellenic Federation of Modern Pentathlon Dora Palli and Andreas Tsochantaris, Kyklovoros Founding Partner, x head Sponsoring & GM Ops Athens 2004. The panel was moderated by Iris Vlachoutsicos, member of the Gender Equity Committee of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, who was also in charge of the event coordination.

The event took place in the framework of the HOC’s participation in the European project GAMES – Guidance to Achieve More Equal Leadership in Sport. Annamarie Phelps, Vice President of Team GB and President of the EOC Gender Equity Committee, leading the GAMES project, sent a message encouraging the awarded elite athletes – parents and also congratulating the HOC for concluding and launching the HOC Action Plan on Gender Equity. Georgia Papathanasiou, head of the European Projects department of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, followed with a presentation of the GAMES program which is implemented in collaboration with seven other Olympic Committees and gender experts, under the coordination of the European Office of the European Olympic Committees and the support of the International Olympic Committee.

The event also attended the Head of the Olympic Mission to Paris Petros Synadinos, the President of the HOC Marketing Committee Nikos Iatrou, the members of the HOC Nikos Xylouris, Kostis Liaromatis, Thanasis Papageorgiou, Thomas Thomas, the President of the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation Thanasis Stathopoulos, Olympian Demosthenes Tabakos, the President of the Association of Greek Olympians Voula Zygouri and many other leaders within sports.

The event was presented by Maria Bekatorou, whom the HOC Gender Equity Committee thanked for her participation.