At a recent ceremony, Hellenic Olympic Committee President Spyros Capralos awarded prizes to athletes and their trainers who excelled in 2017 in European and World Championships.

The “Dimitrios Vikelas” Trophy of Excellence (named after the first president of the International Olympic Committee) was also awarded to the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos , for his practical, unreserved and continuous support for Greek Sport.

Trophies were also awarded to the former Minister and member of the HOC Plenary Session Fani Palli Petralia and to the HOC Vice President Pavlos Kanellakis, and to leading personalities in sports who have contributed with volunteering work.

The IOC Trophy “Sport Beyond Borders” was also awarded, to the Mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos, following a proposal made by the HOC. Galinos received the Trophy on behalf of the local community for the way they managed the migration crisis. Personalities who contributed to staging of the Lighting and Handover ceremonies of the Olympic Flame as well as the new sponsors of the HOC were also awarded.

In his address, President Capralos invited eminent businessmen to support the programme “Adopt an Athlete on the Way to Tokyo”. “I invite the Greek entrepreneurial community, deeply aware of the immense charity work they are engaged in, to assist the Greek sports heroes. They are young people who represent our country in the best possible way and make Greeks all over the world brim over with joy and pride. I therefore invite, once more, the Greek entrepreneurs to contribute to the programme “Adopt an Athlete on the way to Tokyo”.

The funds raised by the “adoption programme” are directly allocated to the athletes, without any intervention whatsoever on the part of HOC or any Federation. The athletes who benefited from the previous version of the programme, fully acknowledged the substantial support they received and it is no secret that all six medals of the Rio Olympics were won by “adopted’ athletes.

Hellenic Olympic Committee President Capralos also referred to the issue of granting incentives to athletes: “Let us at last incentivize the athletes, by allocating credit points for admission to Schools of Higher Education of their own preference, with extra credit points when it comes to Olympic sports.  Let us allow the Olympic winners to serve the public sector or the armed forces during their sports career”.

Finally he mentioned that in the course of January 2018 the HOC will submit to the Deputy Minister for Sport an amended version of its statutes for approval. The Minister will in turn proceed with passing the bill: “Unfortunately, the Hellenic Olympic Committee still is a Legal Entity of Public Law, and as such, its operations are hindered by the relevant legal restrictions applying to the whole public sector. A number of administration/management issues, such as the participation of sports teams in competitions abroad, are contained and obstructed by bureaucracy, ultimately leading to increased expenditure, wasted work hours, inefficiency”.