We are already in the year after the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro. A Games which brought outstanding results for Greece, with three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. While leaving behind the Games of Rio, we are getting closer and closer to the Olympic Games of Tokyo 2020. And everything happens at a fast pace.
People form the sports field are well aware that 2017 is the starting point for the Olympic preparation of our athletes, a preparation that will be completed within three years. For the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the time to rise up to the challenge, the Tokyo Olympic Games, has already come.
When it comes to sport, time flies; thus, the journey to the country of the Rising Sun is not actually that far away.
A major concern we all share within the HOC is that the allocation of funds for the Olympic preparation of our athletes and teams is not within the State’s goals for yet another year. This lack of State funding is in fact not new, but came about as early as 2009. As for the qualifying procedures for the next Olympics, they are already starting at the beginning of 2018 for a number of sports.
This being the current sports context in Greece, the HOC can by no means stand still. We are all very well aware of our duty towards our athletes, especially those who will become members of a strong, hopefully, Olympic team in 2020. To this end, a new financial assistance program, in the same line as the one entitled "Adopt an Athlete on the Way to Rio 2016", has already been launched.
This time, however, we are trying to further enhance the program and open up new possibilities. Together with the Greek sponsors and the assistance provided by the International Olympic Committee and the European Olympic Committees, we will make every possible effort in order to be successful once more, this time, in Tokyo. This is our Goal, this is Our Dream.
I wish you my very best for an enjoyable summer holiday!