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Authentic Marathon Swim: The Most Historic Swimming Event in Greece

The National Herald

Impressive footage of the swimming races at Pefki, Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos. Photo by Angelos Zymaras, Authentic Marathon Swim

ATHENS – The Authentic Marathon Swim is approaching and is expected to draw amateur and professional swimmers from Greece and abroad for the 2nd consecutive year, on July 2-4, at Pefki, Evia, in the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos.

Last year's success led the event to the top of the Tourism Awards with five awards.

The Mayor of Istiea-Edipsos Ioannis Kontzias, Minister of Tourism Harry Theoharis, Deputy Minister of Culture & Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, Governor of Central Greece Region Fanis Spanos, President of the Greek National Tourism Organization Angela Gerekou, President of the Hellenic Swimming Federation Kyriakos Giannopoulos, Hungarian holder of the Oceans Seven and member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Attila Manyoki, and the open water masters world champion Vicky Kouveli expressed their enthusiasm for this year's event.

The National Herald

Left to right: Deputy Minister of Culture & Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, with the Mayor of Istiea-Edipsos Ioannis Kontzias. Photo by Mike Tsolis, Authentic Marathon Swim

Mayor Kontzias said, “the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos, believing that its main priority is the promotion of its cultural and historical heritage, continues with more enthusiasm to organize, for the 2nd year, the Authentic Marathon Swim. This year, on July 2-4, we are waiting for you all to swim over the shipwrecks of the naval battle of Artemision. Sports tourism is an industry that is highly developed and covers 20% of the total tourist traffic. With a set of events throughout the territory of our Municipality, we aim to make sports tourism one of the main pillars of our tourism product.”

Theoharis declared that “tourism in Greece is indissolubly linked to culture and sports. The country that gave birth to the Olympic Games and the ancient Greek culture, offers visitors an unparalleled advantage of tourism experience, safety, and culture. In this context, the great sports tourism organization of the Authentic Marathon Swim can offer international recognition and increase of tourist traffic in the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos and throughout our country. Such a sports - but at the same time tourism and cultural - event, contributes to the promotion and expansion of the level of services offered to tourists-consumers who visit our country. I would like to express my warm congratulations to the organizers and the participants for organizing such a great sports event, especially at such a difficult time due to the global pandemic. A few days ago, Greek tourism `opened its sails' for its restart. And such events as yours, contribute to the promotion, but mainly to the successful attempt to return to normalcy; to take our lives back again.”

The National Herald

Impressive footage of the swimming races at Pefki, Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos. Photo by Elias Lefas, Authentic Marathon Swim

Spanos stated: “With great joy and with even greater anticipation we welcome the Authentic Marathon Swim at Pefki in Evia, for the 2nd consecutive year, in memory of the legendary Skyllias and his daughter Hydna … I wish good luck to the event and strength to our swimmers. They will need it because marathon races are very demanding. And of course, a wish and a commitment. To always support with all our forces the actions that promote everything beautiful that our place has and to make it more attractive.”

Greek National Tourism Organization President Gerekou added, “it is with great pleasure that the Greek National Tourism Organization welcomes and supports the 2nd Authentic Marathon Swim, which depicts the revival of the authentic, historic marathon route after 2,500 years. Participants in this event are great athletes from around the world who swim over the shipwrecks of the historic naval battle of Artemision. The Greek National Tourism Organization supports and promotes successful events like these, because it firmly believes in the dynamics of sports, cultural, historical tourism which is a necessary component of experiential tourism.”

Open water masters world champion Vicky Kouveli said about her participation this year: “The Authentic Marathon Swim, from its first time last year, is really in our hearts. Both because the organization was impeccable, at the very beautiful natural landscape in which the race took place and the fact that it is inspired by a historical event. The battle of Artemision. Worthily, it claims a place in the annual calendar of marathon swimmers and is an attraction for sports tourism. This year too I will participate and finish like a modern Hydna. I will be waiting to meet you there and swim together.”

The National Herald

The open water masters world champion, Vicky Kouveli. Photo by Dimitris Andritsos Photography, Authentic Marathon Swim)

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The event will be held in accordance with FINA regulations and the health protocol approved by the Greek General Secretariat of Sports' Health Scientific Committee and established by the experienced team of ActiveMedia Group, in order to ensure the health of athletes and attendees.

The Authentic Marathon Swim will be held with the permission of the General Directorate of Tourism Policy of the Regional Tourism Service of Central Greece, under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization. The event is co-organized by the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos, the Region of Central Greece, the Organization of Cultural Development for Central Greece (O.P.A.S.T.E.), the Central Union of Municipalities in Greece (KEDE) and the Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Greece. ActiveMedia Group is responsible for its sports production. The race has joined the swimming community of Global Swim Series (GSS).

Exciting moments and memories can be shared using the official hashtag #authenticmarathonswim;

Website: www.authenticmarathonswim.com;

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AuthenticMarathonSwim;

Instagram Page: www.instagram.com/authenticmarathonswim;

Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/themarathonswim; YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCYxMgl-j5wgosL10lyRay5Q.