The awards ceremony organized by the Hellenic Olympic Committee at the Athens Concert Hall was overwhelmed with the stars of Greek sport and took place in a bright and optimistic atmosphere in view of the Olympic Games in Paris.
In the event that was broadcasted live on Greek Television Channel “Novasports” 72 athletes were honoured: the medal winners of the 2023 World and European Championships, who qualified to Olympic Games “Paris 2024”, the medalists of the 2023 European Games Krakow–Malopolska and the medalists of the 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival in Maribor Slovenia.
The Hellenic Olympic Committee’s distinguished guests were welcomed by President Spyros Capralos, who emphasized in his welcoming speech: “We now not only have a great team for Paris, but also a big team!
Water polo and athletics have greatly enriched the Hellenic delegation and I wish that it will expand with more athletes of equal quality and ambition. It is a blessing to be able to take part in the Olympic Games. It is a dream. And I hope that as many people as possible can experience this dream.
Dear athletes. You are great for the efforts you are making under really difficult, adverse circumstances. Dear Minister, you have already recognized the problems and taken the first big step, by securing the financial resources for the sports facilities. But time is pressing, and work must begin immediately. I am sure that this is a priority in your timetable.
We must all work together to create and offer preparation conditions that do justice to the talent, dedication and great potential of Greek athletes. We owe it to them.”
Deputy Minister of Sport Yannis Vroutsis also delivered a speech, while the event was honored by the presence of the Minister of Rural Development Lefteris Avgenakis, Secretary General of Sport Giorgos Mavrotas, the Mayor of Athens Haris Doukas, the Mayor of Thessaloniki Stelios Angeloudis, former ministers and deputy ministers Fani Petralia and Giorgos Lianis, members of the HOC General Assembly and personalities from the sports field.
A special moment was the honoring of the women’s national water polo team, a few hours after their return from the European Championships in Eindhoven, where they won the bronze medal and their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The team’s coach Alexia Kammenou said: “I would like to thank the Hellenic Olympic Committee for this great honor. All the girls gave their best and in the end, we managed to qualify for the Olympic Games, but we must not forget that we also won the bronze medal in Europe.”
Here is the list of the 72 honored athletes by sport:
Athletics: Miltos Tenntoglou, Emmanuel Karalis, Antigoni Drisbioti, Nikos Andrikopoulos, Dimitris Antonatos, Giannis Gartsios, Ioulianna Roussou, Maria Raphaelidou, Vladimiros Andreadis, Paschalis Gennikis, Pavlos Kriaras, Evina Panagiotou, Maria Raphaelidou, Nikos Siderenios
Shooting: Anna Korakaki, Makis Mitas, Babis Chalkiadakis, Nikos Mavrommatis, Emmanuela Katzouraki, Christina Moschi
Rowing : Stefanos Douskos, Petros Gaidatzis, Antonis Papakonstantinou, Evangelia Anastasiadou, Christina Bourbou, Zoe Fitsiou, Dimitra – Eleni Kontou,
Fencing: Dora Goundoura, Despina Georgiadou
Gymnastics: Lefteris Petrounias, Seraphim Eminidis
Swimming: Christian Golomeev, Apostolos Christou, Stergios Bilas, Apostolos Siskos, Anna Ntountounaki, Despina Pyrili, Vangelis Doumas
Artistic swimming: Sofia Malkogeorgou, Evangelia Platanioti
Men’s national water polo team
Women’s national water polo team
Wrestling: Maria Prevolaraki, Giorgos Kougioumtsidis, Dauren Kourougliev
Cycling: Giorgos Bouglas
Taekwondo : Apostolos Telikostoglou, Konstantinos Chamalidis, Konstantinos Dimitropoulos
Equestrian: Ioli Mytileneou
Alpine skiing: Alexandros Ginnis
Karate: Stefanos Xenos, Dionysis Xenos, Giorgos Tzanos, Konstantinos Mastrogiannis, Georgina Xenou, Kelly Kydonaki, Konstantina Chrysopoulou,
Kickboxing: Giorgos Tsambodimos Leovaris, Semeli Zarmakoupi
Muaythai: Kyriakos Bakirtzis
Finally, in a particularly moving moment, table tennis athlete Kallinikos Kreanga was also honored, who, after ending his sports career at the age of 50, still found the time to graduate from the School of Physical Education and Sports, setting an outstanding example.