Hellenic Olympic Committee hosts “Best Athletes of the Year 2022” Award Ceremony
During a ceremony marked by a glamorous and shinning atmosphere, the HOC awarded the medal winners of last year’s European and World Championships in the presence of many state officials and distinguished guests from the sports family. Among them were Vice President of the Hellenic Government Mr. Panagiotis Pikramenos, Minister of Defense, Mr. Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Deputy Minister of Sports Mr. Lefteris Avgenakis and representatives of the European Olympic family, such as Secretary General of the European Olympic Committees Raffaele Pagnozzi and President of the Romanian Olympic Committee Mihai Covaliu.
The prestigious award of HOC “Dimitris Vikelas”for the great services to the Olympism and Sport was awarded to the former HOC President and Honorary Member of the IOC, Mr. Lambis Nikolaou, and to Mrs. Mariana Latsis, representative of the Ioannis Latsis Foundation, which has made a significant contribution to the Olympic Preparation Scholarships. The IOC President Tomas Bach described his long lasting friendship with Lambis Nikolaou in a video message.
In his welcoming speech, the HOC President and IOC member Spyros Capralos pointed out, among other things: “Our aim is to help top athletes in every possible way and to continue with great success the “Adopt an Athlete on the Road to Paris” program, which provides free medical examinations and hospitalization in the best hospitals in the country, free ergometric analysis, free training in gyms and also post-sport programs. Through this specific program, 83 athletes have already found a sponsor who significantly supports them in their efforts to participate in the Paris Games in a year and a half.
In addition to this program, the Hellenic Olympic Committee also supports athletes directly. This year, for the first time in history, we are giving a financial reward to those who won medals at the 2022 European and World Championships and the Mediterranean Games.
The HOC also supports several Greek sports federations by covering the remuneration of highly qualified foreign coaches. So far, nine foreign coaches have been hired by the national sports federations, who not only prepare our top athletes, but also transfer their knowledge and experience to the Greek coaches.
At the same time, we continue to support the national federations financially. In 2022, 574,000 euros were disbursed from our fund for Olympic preparation, while for this year we have allocated a much higher amount, which will reach 1,600,000 euros.”
Each awarded athlete also received a check as part of HOC’s initiative to provide financial support to the medal winners at European and World Championships.
The following athletes were awarded for their achievements at World and European Championships during the year 2022: Anna Korakaki (Shooting), Katerina Stefanidis (Athletics), Lefteris Petrounias (gymnastics), Miltos Tentoglou (Athletics), Stefanos Douskos (Rowing), Antigoni Drisbiotis (Athletics), Elina Tzengo (Athletics), Antonis Papaconstantinou (Rowing), George Kougioumtsidis (Wrestling), Apostolos Christou (Swimming), Evangelia Anastasiadou (Rowing), Maria Prevolaraki (Wrestling), Thenia Sarvanaki (Taekwondo), Zoe Fitsiou (Rowing) , Evangelia Platanioti (Artistic Swimming), Christian Golomeev (Swimming), Thodoris Tselidis (Judo), Despina Georgiadou (Fencing), Sofia Georgopoulou (Weightlifting), Olga Papadatou (Boxing), Marios Grapsas, Nikos Savvidis (Trampoline) and four young athletes who won a medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Banska Bystrica: Yannis Gartsios, Evina Panagiotou, Apostolos Kriaras and Antonia Rakopoulou. Finally, the national men’s and women’s water polo teams and the national artistic swimming team were also awarded.
Checks were also presented to the athletes who received Olympic scholarships from the IOC: Nora Drakou, Pavlos Kayalis, Emmanuel Karalis, Alkis Kynigakis, Maria and Anneta Kyridou, Kostas Meretsolias, Christina Bourbou, Anna Dountounaki, Antigoni Drisbioti, Elisavet Teltsidou and Fani Tzeli.
Finally a minute of silence was observed at the event for the great personalities of the Hellenic Sports family who passed away in 2022 and early 2023.
The Awards Ceremony was broadcast live by the NOVA television station.