The President of the Hellenic Republic declared the Opening of the 62nd International Session of IOA for Young Olympic Ambassadors

Her Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou declared at the Hill of Pnyx the Opening of the works of the 62nd International Session of the International Olympic Academy for Young Olympic Ambassadors that will take place in Ancient Olympia until June 23.

The main subject of the works of the Session is: “The Olympic Movement and Olympism in digital era” and its special subject is: “The promotion of physical activity via digital engagement strategies and virtual sports” and they will be attended by 125 young people from 80 countries.

In the Opening Ceremony were present the President of the Supreme Court Maria Georgiou, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff Konstantinos Floros, the HOC President and IOC member Spyros Kapralos, the two HOC Vice Presidents Stelios Aggeloudis and Stefanos Chandakas and many other personalities of the Greek sports, political and social life.

International Olympic Academy President Isidoros Kouvelos told to the young ambassadors: It feels wonderful to be returning to this special place, to the long-established opening ceremony of the Session of the Young Olympic Ambassadors, after two years of absence, due to the pandemic, which claimed the lives of millions of people and changed our lives and everyday activities!

The pandemic may have changed our habits two years ago, it may have even changed the year in which the Olympic Games were staged, it may have changed relations between people or even altered our mental state; but what has not changed is the desire of people to forge ahead and to seek new horizons and new prospects.

Dear friends, as of this year the events of the International Olympic Academy shall be held in its newly renovated facilities, making it the ideal place to stay with its traditional magical surroundings of Ancient Olympia. With modern functional rooms, renovated dining areas and classrooms, new sports facilities, as well as key interventions to the infrastructure of its facilities, the International Olympic Academy is now ready to stage its international activities and to welcome friends from every corner of the world. The renovation which has enhanced the IOA, as well as the closer synergies between the IOC and the IOA were part of my personal vision, which President Bach adopted from the outset, without a second thought. Thus, the IOC gave a considerable amount to completely renovate the interior part of the IOA premises and I feel it to be my duty to thank President Bach, from this podium, for his personal contribution in this project as a whole. Undertaking common actions and the extensive continuous training of the IOC members and the officials of the Olympic Movement in Ancient Olympia shall play an instrumental role in this new era of relations between the IOC and the IOA. Members of the Olympic Family, in its strictest or more expansive sense, will now spend, at the very least, a few days in Ancient Olympia, immersed in the Olympic spirit, the land in which it all began more than 2,500 years ago!»

During the event, the honorary distinction “Athena” was awarded at the Cyprus National Olympic Academy with its President George Chrysostomou receiving the award. The Otto Simicek Special Award was given to the re-established National Olympic Academy of Saudi Arabia.