Athens, August 21, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Six medals won by the athletes who represented Greece at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games three gold, one silver and two bronze. Anna Korakaki, with a gold and a bronze in shooting, Lefteris Petrounias gold in the rings of gymnastics, Katerina Stefanidi, with a gold medal in pole jump, Spiros Yianniotis with a silver in swimming at 10 km and Takis Mantis and Paul Kagialis with a bronze in sailing, were the six athletes who raised the Greek flag high.
It is the best harvest of medals after the Athens Olympics in Greece. Of course this did not prevent the known “naggers” to speak of the absence of the state, to judge and criticize, and turn these successes into petty political confrontation. There were of course some who surpassed all imagination, either calling for the Olympic Stadium to be renamed from “Spiros Louis” to Spiro Yanniotis, either by asking for the Olympic winners to speak in the House.
Unfortunately in Greece hypocrisy is in no short supply. Nor is the nonsense that follows some significant achievements at a personnel level, even if they have the Hellenic emblem on them.
Let’s clear something out. The six Greek medals were not won neither by the policy of SYRIZA, nor the policy of the other parties, nor the Greek “soul” (those who did not get medals did not have a Greek soul;), nor a Divine intervention, who many remembered. They were won with the effort of the athletes who by their own choosing attended the games.
The champioship are individual sports and respect the individual athlete on the grounds that deals with this. Know in advance the difficulties needs and what it takes to succeed in them. All that is certainly not aware of is if they ever will be able to win a medal. Just trying to make it.
Competitive sports are professional. Whether we like it or not. And in professionalism the state can not and should not be involved. The state cannot be seen as being behind doping, contracts with sports companies and many other such things that have crept into competitive sports.
The state has an obligation to provide a chance to the people to practice sports. The chance that will give every athlete who aspires to become a champion a choice at what path to follow. To give every citizen access to stadiums and sports facilities, nothing more nothing less. Perhaps at best the state can give symbolic rewards – moral or material – to these champions or facilitate matters within its remit. For the rest there are sponsors, clubs and federations.
What the Greek athletes have achieved is their feat. They are the ones who spend time and money on their own choice and they are the ones who were written in the golden pages of the history of sports. All others – both state and citizens – are there to congratulate them, to thank them for that they offered us and let them do their job in peace.
Congratulations from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.