President's welcome message

The Hellenic Olympic Committee and I, wish to thank all the athletes who participated and made our country proud in the Rio Olympic Games.

These athletes, amid problems and obstacles arising for four years during their preparation, led Greece to the 26th place in the medal standings and stood out thanks to their ethos, personality and behavior.

Apart from the athletes, we should also thank the trainers, who fight and give their very best alongside the athletes. In addition we should thank the national Federations of the Olympic sports for their good job even without salary for the staff, the volunteers who never give up and try to create the best possible training conditions for the preparation of our athletes.

A special thank you to the sponsors, who have a clear stake in the athletes’ success in Rio. Especially those who participated in the innovative program "Adopt an athlete on the way to Rio", presented two years ago by the Hellenic Olympic Committee. As the athletes have stated - and we thank them for this - this program has proved to be salutary for them and their efforts.

There are others who didn’t only help this time but have been helping for many years now, like the A.G. Leventis Foundation that has been offering sponsorships every year based on merit. 28 Greek and Cypriot athletes have been supported.
The successes of our athletes in Rio must not remain untapped. They must become the starting point for a new course of the sport movement in Greece, as we have the historical opportunity, not only to set a higher target, but to also achieve it: to make Greece one of the first 20 countries in the 2020 Olympic Games and send to Tokyo an Olympic Team of over 100 athletes.

We must hurry and start as early as tomorrow, because it is difficult to qualify as the number of athletes in traditional sports is decreasing and more sports are added, many of which are not popular in Greece.
We can make it if we start now and not remember it all just one year before Tokyo.

Spyros I. Capralos
President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee