NEW YORK – Greek-American Sabrina Kyriaki Piliero started skating at four years old. Her parents realized very early on that she had a talent and was born for the sport. So they invested in this passion for their daughter, making sacrifices to make her dream come true.
Today, at 17, Sabrina has another dream: To participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics wearing the colors of Greece.
Sabrina’s mother, Barbara, spoke to The National Herald about her daughter’s dream. “Her background is Greek, and both my parents are Greek. My grandfather was born in Spetses and my grandmother in Crete. I have many relatives in Greece and I am proud that my daughter wants to represent the country where she comes from,” Barbara Piliero told TNH.
The Greek-American athlete is now awaiting Greek citizenship, following a series of actions her family has taken to set deadlines for her participation in the next Olympics in 2022.
“It’s been a long and time-consuming process for three years now. Our application has been forwarded with a positive recommendation from the Consulate General of New York to the Attica region,” Mrs. Piliero added.
Sabrina’s grandfather says that he is her biggest fan and he is also the one who inspired her with his childhood memories of the city he grew up in, Piraeus. This year, Sabrina will visit Greece in the hope of making the Greek Olympic team.
The 17-year-old athlete works out at the University of Delaware six times a week, five hours a day for this purpose. Alongside her is her coach Pam Gregory, and Joel McKeever, a figure skater who has represented Greece in the past with Elaine Asanakis and Elaine Zayac, world champion in 1982.
Sabrina has competed twice with the USA National Team and in many other competitions having won a bronze medal.
What the family is asking for now is to speed up procedures in the region. Note that Sabrina will automatically jump to a different age range and from teenagers to adults while missing the “window” for the Tokyo Olympics.
Sabrina now waits to acquire the coveted Greek citizenship so that she can compete for Greece and represent her country of origin.