Press Release by the Hellenic Olympic Committee
The Hellenic Olympic Committee awarded prizes to men and women athletes who excelled in 2017 in European and World Championships and their trainers, in a wonderful ceremony, in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who was also awarded by the HOC President Spyros Capralos for his practical, unreserved and continuous support to Greek Sport. The Trophy of Excellence “Dimitrios Vikelas”, established by the HOC, was also awarded to leading personalities in sports who have offered volunteering work. The Trophy was awarded to the former Minister and member of the HOC Plenary Session Fani Palli Petralia and to the HOC Vice President Pavlos Kanellakis. The IOC Trophy “Sport Beyond Borders” was also awarded, following HOC’s proposal, to the Mayor of Lesvos Spyros Galinos who received the Trophy on behalf of the local community for the way they managed the migration crisis. Personalities who contributed to staging the Lighting and Handover ceremonies of the Olympic Flame as well as the new sponsors of the HOC were also awarded.
The President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, mentioned in his address speech 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 bill passing: “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”.
Moreover, Mr. Capralos 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 invited eminent businessmen to support the program “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 sport 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 program “Adopt an Athlete on the way to Tokyo”.
The funds raised by the “adoption program” 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 program, 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.