Greek Team Shines at World Rowing Championships in FL

The Greek team at the U23 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida with Greek-American Peter Ellis (top left). Photo: Courtesy of Peter Ellis

SARASOTA, FL – The Greek team returned from the U23 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota after winning a total of four medals, two golds, one silver, and one bronze.

Gold went to the duos Maria Kyridou and Christina Bourmpou and to Anneta Kyridou and Dimitra Tsamopoulou, the silver to Stefanos Ntouskos, and the bronze to Giannis Kalandaridis and Thanasis Paleopanos.

Greece tied with Australia in the medals count just above the United States which finished in sixth place. Great Britain finished in first place, Italy in second, and Germany third.

What the results and statistics do not record is the contribution of a Greek-American to the Greek team’s success. His support played a vital role in the performances of the Greek athletes.

Peter Ellis (Eleftheriou) was not unknown to some members of the team. In 2017, as The National Herald reported, he had also hastened to support the team at the World Championships held in the same city.

Left to right: Christina Bourmpou, Maria Kyridou, Peter Ellis, Dimitra Tsamopoulou, and Anneta Kyridou. Photo: Courtesy of Peter Ellis

Anneta Kyridou, who had met Ellis two years ago, posted a photo on her Facebook page thanking him for his contribution: “A kind man with a big heart!!! A Greek living in America and just learning we were about to compete in his city rushed to help the team achieve its goals!!! Thank you so much for everything, you were a great support for the team…We owe you a lot

#seeyousoon #thankyouforeverything.”

Kyridou told TNH, Anneta Kyridou told TNH, “I met Mr. Peter in 2017 and he came to the hotel where the Greek delegation was staying. He brought water and Gatorade to keep the team hydrated in the very warm conditions of the area. He took us on walks and took us out to dinner and was there for us in every race. He did exactly that and this year he just learned that we’re here. He was by our side and helped us with whatever we needed. Since 2017, he has been helping many young people from Greece studying in America whether they are planning to study or hosting them on vacation, or need help with any problems they may have.” Family, friends, and athletes, as well as Greek rowing coaches also thanked Ellis for his efforts.

Petros Ellis (Eleftheriou) left Greece with his family in 1970 for Boston. He was 10 years old when he left Piraeus behind. He finished school, enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served for years, and then went to the University of Massachusetts.

He lived in Texas for a while, then in New Hampshire and Connecticut, working in a restaurant chain for 16 years, eventually becoming a manager. He now works for the large company Sysco, which provides supplies for the catering industry.

Ellis posted his own Facebook message for the Greek team: “Until next time we meet. It was a pleasure and a honor to meet and became family with all of these wonderful young athletes and coaches representing #Hellas. To all their parents, family and friends you should be extremely proud of all of them. I wish you continued success, good health and happiness, and more gold medals in your future. Love you all!”

Ellis posted the highlights of the Greek team on Facebook, so that all Greeks can see the athletes’ daily lives and their achievements everywhere.