The congress of European Olympians was carried out with total success during the 29th to the 31th of July 2011, in the Auditorium of the American College of Greece.
Taking part in it were more than 40 participants from 31 countries who resided in the hospitable premises of the American College in Agia Paraskevi.
Although this was a European Nations Congress, there were also taking part many representatives of the World Olympians Association (WOA), under the auspices and financial backing of which, the Congress was performed.
Also present were the President of the World Olympians Association, High Jumping Olympic Gold Medalist Dick Fosbury (USA), as well as Amadou Dia Ba (Senegal), Sharmain Krooks (Canada) and the WOA secretary Tracy Mattes (USA).
Before starting the Congress’ proceedings, messages were read from the Minister of Sports Mr. George Nikitiades, the President of the IOC Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos and the President of the HOC and Honorary President of the HOA, Mr. Spiros Kapralos who stated:
My Friend President Dick Fosbury,
Unfortunately I am not able to attend your congress due to my visit at London for matters concerning the Olympic Games taking part in the British capital next year.
Nevertheless I would like you to consider me mentally amongst you, both as a former athlete that took part with the Greek Water Polo team at the Olympic Games of Moscow in 1980 and of Los Angeles in 1984, as well as the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.
We are one year away from the Olympic Games and slowly the planet starts to move to the rhythms of the top sporting event, so every action of the Olympic family acquires great importance.
Especially when done by you, the people who have taken part in the Olympics, who have felt the ambience and have witnessed this unique experience, any action to promote the values of Olympism has a special role!
It is clear that there can be no Olympic movement without your presence! You are the people that bridge the 4 years of each Olympiad and are the lifelong and best ambassadors of the Olympic ideals.
For this reason the proceedings of the congress are more than useful and I am certain that the conclusions drawn will decisively help in the development and promotion of the Olympic Movement.
However, to reach the desired results, all the participants of the Olympic Games must unite their powers and this is one of the initiatives that need to be taken immediately.
With the activation of as many as possible of the around 80.000 Olympians, the Olympic movement will gain a stronger voice and a stronger presence in every facet of social life of the inhabitants of the planet.
Your own strong presence is also the strong presence of the National Olympic Committees and together we can work so that the benefits of peace, friendship, mutual respect and sportsmanship to spread to every corner of the globe.
I can assure you that, both I and the entire Hellenic Olympic Committee, we shall constantly be at your side, offering assistance and strengthening the efforts you make.
Besides, from the first moment of undertaking the Presidency of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, I have had an open line with the Hellenic Olympians Association, even offering our headquarters space to house the offices of the Association.
I wish you all complete success in the proceedings of the congress and I am sure we will continue to communicate and cooperate in every activity of the Olympic Family.
During the proceedings, all the Delegates, most of whom were Olympic Gold Medalists, mentioned the efforts being taken at their country for the development of the Olympic Movement or in the political and athletic structure. There were two exceptions that can be pointed out.
The English Olympic Winner of Rowing Chris Baillieu referred in great detail and with a number of images on the preparation of his country for the organization of the Olympic Games of 2012 in London.
On the other hand, Israeli Union Galin-Galler, who participated in the Games of 1952 in decathlon and discus throwing, reiterated his old proposal that the physical location of the Olympic Movement is Ancient Olympia and Athens, not Lausanne. He even presented a letter from Juan Antonio Samaranch that confirmed the logic of his claim.
The main speaker on the Greek side was the captain of the National Team of Water Polo, NTUA professor George Mavrotas, who presented an academic level paper.
The full listing of the participants in the proceedings of the Congress is the following:
- Dick Fosbury USA, WOA President
- Amadou Dia Ba, Senegal, WOA Vice President
- Sharmain Krooks, Kanada, WOA Vice President
- Tracy Mattes, USA, WOA Secretary
- Gaston Roelants, Belgium
- Paul Urbain ,Belgium
- Igor Boraska, Croatia
- Petar Skanci, Croatia
- Pavel Benc, Czech Republic
- Avilaja Jarund, Denmark
- Barnabas Steinmetz, Hungary
- Elin Sigurdardottir, Iceland
- Dr Union Galin-Galler, Israel
- Gianfraco Baraldi, Italy
- Barbara Baraldi , Italy
- Voldemars Lusis, Latvia
- Birute Statkeviciene, Lithuania
- Victor Peicov, Moldova
- Andrija Popovic, Montenegro
- Kajetan Tomasz Broniewskik, Poland
- Gentil Da Silva Martins Antonio, Portugal
- Galina Gorokhova, Russia
- Miroslav Cerar, Slovenia
- Raul Chapado, Spain
- Urs Frankhauser, Switzerland
- Malik Beyleroglu, Turkey
- Alper Kasapoglu, Turkey
- Halyna Petzivnz Zakharova , Ukraine
- Christopher Baillieu, United Kingdom
The following participated on behalf of Greece:
- George Andreadis, HOA B.o.D. President
- George Zaimis, HOA B.o.D. Vice President
- Ioannis Palios, HOA B.o.D. Vice President
- George Marsellos, HOA B.o.D. Vice President
- George Liveris, HOA B.o.D. General Secretary
- Dimitris Kougevetopoulos, HOA B.o.D. Hon. Treasurer
- Dionisis Liveris, HOA B.o.D. Member
- Dimitris Kiteas, HOA B.o.D. Member
- Christos Pierrakos, HOA B.o.D. Member
- Maria Georgatou, HOA B.o.D. Member
- George Mavrotas, HOA Member
- Evlampios Manthos, HOA Member
- Helen Avlonitou, HOA Member
- Kostas Limperakis, HOA Member