Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 15:38
The Monaco-based, neutral organization, under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, has traditionally held its annual Forum at home. The shift of venue to the shores of Greece’s Aegean Sea was a welcome and inspiring change.
Hellenic national Olympic committee president Spyros Capralos called the event a success.
“I believe that the Olympic ideals through these six hours of seminar were passed on to many people,” Capralos tells Around the Rings during an interview in the ancient stadium.
“There has been excellent attendance – many ministers from regional countries were here and they participated and contributed with what they are doing in their countries,” the Greek NOC leader said. “They can be the best ambassadors of Peace and Sport.”
The theme of the one-day regional forum – a collaboration between Peace and Sport and the South Aegean region of Greece – held on Oct. 18 was “Societies in Motion: Rising up through Sport.” Attendees included international organizations, NGOs, sport leaders, government officials, academia, Champions for Peace athletes and others seeking to maximize the use of sport for positive social change.
The Peace and Sport Awards concluded the Forum. Eight international and regional organizations and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to peace, dialogue and social change in the world through sport were honored.
Capralos also informed ATR that recent economic improvements in Greece have positively affected the Greek NOC and its athletes.
“After the initial troubles that we had, now it's calm waters – everything is functioning well,” Capralos said. “We’re trying to assist the athletes on the road to Tokyo 2020.
“The new program ‘Adopt an Athlete On the Way to Tokyo’ is on. We’ve managed to cover all our athletes for medical and also we’re trying to find specific sponsors to help them get their qualifications.”
Capralos noted that all athlete funding is private through the efforts of the Greek NOC.
He also says five Greek athletes have already qualified for Tokyo 2020 – four in sailing, and Rio 2016 shooting gold medalist Anna Korakaki.
Capralos proudly noted that Greece won its first-ever Youth Olympic Games gold medals in Buenos Aires, with top of the podium finishes in rowing, sailing and athletics.