|ATHENS, February 2, 2016 – Just before completing his three-day visit to Greece President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach visited Panathenaic Stadium, accompanied by the President of the Greek Olympic Committee Spyros Capralos. With them were also the President of the European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey, a delegation of the Association of Greek Olympians including Voula Kozompoli, Voula Zygouri, Angeliki Karapatakis and George Koutsioumpa.
Mr. Bach toured the premises of the stadium, where the Olympic Games were revived in 1896. Accompanied by the Chairman of the “I Love Sport-Kids’ Athletics Club Denise Panagopoulos, the IOC president saw first-hand the implementation of this project organized by the Greek Olympic Committee, aimed at primary school pupils with the goal of bringing them closer through sessions in athletics, basketball and volleyball.
The President of the IOC spoke to the children of the 46th Primary School of Athens who participated in the program and did not hesitate to test his strength agains the students in athletics. At the end of the day, Thomas Bach took photographs with the children, providing each student with a small commemorative gift, a badges with the five Olympic rings and did not hide his enthusiasm:
“It was a fantastic experience to come to Panathenaic Stadium here, from where it all started for the modern Olympic Games. And it was even better that I shared this feeling with future generations of athletes, with all these children. I saw in their eyes love for and for the Olympic experience. I want to thank and congratulate the Greek Olympic Committee and President Spyros Capralos on implementing the program and turning it into a reality of the Olympic spirit,” said the President of the IOC
The President of the Greek Olympic Committee thanked Thomas Bach for his kind words, and added: “It is very important that we welcomed today the President Bach at the Panathenaic Stadium and presented the program “I Love Sport-Kids” Athletics Club, which we started in 2010, and which has involved 105,000 students from more than 1,500 schools across the country. For us in the Greek Olympic Committee, the most important thing is the joy of children during their visit to this historic stadium and the comments they leave in the book of visitors”, said Spyros Capralos.
Credit: AIPS EUROPE President and Makis Seperizos