Outstanding Greek athletes, including Olympic winners, chatted online on Tuesday with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who thanked them for their contributions in encouraging people to exercise at home while observing the coronavirus lockdown measures.
The athletes have participated in video clips through the ‘Live sportily’ initiative by Deputy Culture Minister for Sports Lefteris Avgenakis. They included Olympic athletes Pyrros Dimas, Lefteris Petrounias, Katerina Stefanidi, Anna Korakaki, Nikos Kaklamanakis, Evi Moraitidou, Voula Kozoboli, Panagiotis Yiannakis, Dimitris Papanikolaou, world champions Stefanos Tsitsipas, Maria Sakkaris, Grigoris Polychronidis (Paralympics), and basketball and football champions Andreas Glyniadakis and Takis Fyssas, respectively.
“We do have the opportunity to change habits and come out of this trial stronger,” Mitsotakis told them. He added that although the lockdown measures were difficult on many people, it lends an opportunity to learn to use time productively, especially with the help of exercises shown in the clips. People “will understand the importance of a healty lifestyle and might even discover exercise again, even if at home, and even with light jogging, things that are allowed under the circumstances.”
The premier also spoke of the government’s plans for a training center for the Paralympics in Rafina, NE of Athens, which he called “a great dream of mine”.
Sports Minister Avgenakis said actions included both the exercise clips and other shows on exercising broadcast on state TV ERT. He was most moved, he said, however, by the high tournout for a blood drive at the Peace and Friendship Stadium (SEF) that contributed 164 pints of blood over this past weekend. The champion athletes gave a personal example with their presence, he said.