Greeks celebrate International Olympic Day with sports and culture events

10:14, June 24, 2010      

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Greece celebrated on Wednesday the International Olympic Day with a sports and culture event held at Halandri municipality in northern part of the capital area, near the seat of the Greek Olympic Committee.

Greek people of all ages gathered at the main square of Halandri on Wednesday afternoon to learn about sports such as canoeing and archery by experts and try their skills at soccer, table tennis, trampoline and chess, surrounded by paintings of children on the Olympic Games.

The main aim of the event hosted in collaboration with the Greek Olympic Committee, was that people discover and feel the Olympic values, Mayor Grigoris Zafiropoulos told Xinhua, holding the hands of his two sons, Nontas and Lambros.

The idea behind the series of events planned this year in the country which is the birthplace of the Olympic Games is that through massive participation of children to pensioners in sports, a better society can be built in the future, as Greece and other countries around the world are tested by a severe economic crisis.

"Today we try to give citizens hope and a new vision during a period of crisis. Let's discover the beauty of team spirit," stressed Zafiropoulos, addressing the event after the hoisting of the Olympic flag, as the municipality's philharmonic band played the Olympic anthem.

"The message sent to the younger generations especially is that in life, as in sports, the most important thing is competing and trying to do your best to achieve the goals set," added Greek Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting Pyrros Dimas who took part in the event along other Greek athletes.

Popular veteran Greek athletes attended another event held on Wednesday at the start of the classical Marathon race, where children planted trees sending the world a message to protect the environment.

"What we try to do is to promote sports and attract more and more children to a healthy way of life as an investment to a better future, "noted member of the Greek Olympic Committee board Stelios Prosalikas, during his address, referring to the forthcoming first Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore.

Olympic Day was established in 1948 in honor of the revival of the modern Olympics. Greece was among the first nine countries who supported the initiative.

Source: Xinhua


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