The President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou received in the garden of the Presidential Palace athletes, escorts and coaches of the Greek team that participated in the Tokyo Paralympic Games and won 11 medals.
The team was accompanied by the President of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee Christos Kaloudis, the General Secretary Christos Tzamousis, the President of the National Athletic Federation of Persons with Disabilities Ioanna Karyofyllis, the President of the Federation of Greek Associations with Parathonis Kalathordis , the leader of the mission Sasha Goufa, doctors of the mission and members of the Plenary Session of the Hellenic Paralympic Committee.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports Lefteris Avgenakis and the General Secretary of Sports George Mavrotas.
Welcoming the athletes and their coaches, Mrs. Sakellaropoulou said the following:
“I welcome you here today with pride and emotion. Not only for your medals and successes. But for the mental strength, the spiritual concentration, the indomitable will with which you came to the sport, for the strength that you show every day in your confrontation with the body and its limits. It is you who remind us that no difficulty can stop man when he has faith in himself and in his abilities, when he is not afraid of failure and defeat because, deep down, he knows that they are temporary. You, who have embraced the certainty that “everything impossible is possible” and confirm it with your daily struggle. You, who with your dedication, courage, determination inspire and urge other young people to “fight well”, whether they face motor, sensory or mental problems or not.
I would like to congratulate all the members of the Greek Paralympic Team, the escorts, the coaches, and of course to warmly congratulate all the athletes who won medals in Tokyo, as well as all those who participated in such a demanding event, regardless of discrimination. You are a great example of the unshakable truth that the body submits to the spirit and that its imperfections very often do not imply passivity but strength. I wish you a brilliant presence at the Games and your daily participation in sports life to help combat the stereotypes, exclusion and discrimination suffered by people with disabilities. You, with your way of life, show the way. And you remind us of the debt we owe to you, in order to have a dignified, creative, equal daily life.