With the Tokyo Summer Olympics over for this year and the Paralympics set to begin in two weeks, The Greek Herald has decided to fill the gap in our television viewing with our top six Greek moments from this year’s Games.
1. The Opening and Closing Ceremony’s:
The was a strong Greek presence at both the Opening and Closing Ceremony’s of the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Greek flag bearers, Eleftherios Petrounias and Anna Korakaki, kicked off the Opening Ceremony as they proudly walked out first with the Greek flag, followed closely by the rest of the athletes.
Petrounias came out in a traditional black suit, while Korakaki and the other female athletes wore an elegant blue and white dress.
During the Closing Ceremony, the Greek flag was carried by the captain of the men’s national water polo team, Giannis Fountoulis.
As is tradition, the Greek flag flew proudly at the closing ceremony alongside the host country’s. The Greek National Anthem was also played loudly.
2. Greek rower, Stefanos Ntouskos, and long jumper, Miltiadis Tentoglou, win Olympic gold medals:
Stefanos Ntouskos from Greece beat an Olympic record and won gold in the men’s single sculls at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway.
It was the first time Greece had ever won a gold medal in the rowing competition at the Olympics.
On his return to Ioannina in Greece, Stefanos was given a hero’s welcome as he did a victory lap around the city’s main square aboard an army Jeep, with a police motorcycle escort.
Ntouskos was also crowned with an olive wreath by Epirus Regional Governor, Alexandros Kachrimanis, and congratulated for this performance in the Tokyo Games by Ioannina Mayor, Moisis Elisaf.
For his part, Miltiadis Tentoglou won gold for Greece with his final effort in the men’s long jump.
He jumped 8.41 metres and was followed close behind by Juan Miguel Echeverria at 8.41m and Maykel Masso 8.21m.
3. Greece’s men’s water polo team win first-ever Olympic silver medal:
After a nail-biting men’s water polo final, Greece claimed its first ever Olympic silver medal after losing to Serbia 10-13.
With five minutes to spare, Serbia scored two more goals and ultimately defended their Rio 2016 Olympic title in men’s water polo.
In the lead up to the gold medal match, Greece had won six of its seven games at Tokyo 2020, with the only exception a 6-6 draw against Italy in the preliminary round.
4. Eleftherios Petrounias wins Olympic bronze medal:
Eleftherios Petrounias won a Tokyo Olympics bronze medal for Greece in the men’s rings final.
His score of 15.200 saw him place third after Liu Yang from China claimed a gold medal with 15.500 and You Hao from China won silver with 15.300.
This was Petrounias’ second Olympic medal in his legendary career and Greece’s third medal during the Tokyo Olympics.
5. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari team up to play Aussies, Ashleigh Barty and John Peers:
Greek Australians watched on the tennis quarterfinal as they cheered on both Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas from Team Greece and Ashleigh Barty and John Peers from Team Australia.
Ultimately Sakkari and Tsitsipas were defeated by the Aussie duo, 6-4, 4-6, [10-6], but it was still a fun and nail-biting game to watch.
6. Greek Australian athletes make us proud:
The Australian Olympic Committee had 472 athletes competing at the Tokyo Games this year and among them were five Greek Australians: Dylan Pierias (football), Alexandra Aristoteli (rhythmic gymnastics), Taylah Tsitsikronis (softball), Anthony Hrysanthos and Lea Yanitsas (both water polo).
All of these athletes made us proud as they played for Australia in their respective sports. Water polo players, Anthony and Lea, helped their teams to a number of victories as goalies.