ATHENS – One of the two best wellness programs in the world, Navarino Challenge, was organized for the 9th year at Costa Navarino and Pylos, Messinia, on October 15-17, with the participation of people of all ages and abilities.
Navarino Challenge had more than 1,300 participations in the context of a full program of numerous sports activities. Hosted at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino – and with its central message “sports unite people” the event pursued the goal of the Olympic Movement, which is to help build a peaceful and better world without discrimination, through sports.
Navarino Challenge was an oasis of well-being, despite the difficult weather conditions that prevailed throughout the country. The activities took place in the presence of Olympians who participated together with amateur athletes, in a safe destination. The celebration of sports tourism brought together athletes, families and children from 17 countries including Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom, USA, Spain, South Korea, Netherlands, and Sweden.
The global value of the Greek language
This year’s Navarino Challenge campaign with its message “We all speak Greek” had a Greek “color” and the event’s commemorative T-shirt, designed by Luanvi, was dedicated to the Greek language including many words derived from Greek in various foreign languages. This way, Navarino Challenge promoted and highlighted the cultural heritage of Greece and the indisputable value of the Greek language.
Revival of the standing long jump by Tentoglou
The event also promoted and highlighted the life and work of the great Greek Olympic medalist from Pylos Konstantinos Tsiklitiras by organizing for the first time the standing long jump activity in his honor, in the presence of Olympic gold medalist Miltos Tentoglou and his coach, George Pomaski at The Dunes Beach, in Costa Navarino. The two significant sports personalities visited the refurbished family home of the Olympic medalist Tsiklitiras in Pylos, now a museum housing a Library and Art Gallery with rare documents, paintings, historical maps and many interesting exhibits, in the presence of Pylos-Nestor Mayor Panagiotis Karvelas and the descendant of Tsiklitiras, Ms. Pepita Tsiklitira.
A night dedicated to great sports personalities
Saturday night had a Greek “color”, with the event’s Grand Sponsor, Samsung, welcoming guests at the special “Award Night Powered by Samsung” to honor some great sports personalities. Specifically, the Gold Olympic medalist in the long jump Miltos Tentoglou was awarded for his contribution to sports by Mr. George Panageas, Costa Navarino Facilities Management Director. The top track and field coach George Pomaski was awarded by the swimming coach with Olympic and world distinctions Nikos Gemelos. The gold Paralympic medalist and world champion in boccia Grigoris Polychronidis and Katerina Polychronidi – Patroni were awarded by Mr. Ilias Lymperis, Vikos SA Media Manager. The Olympian and Eurobasket MVP Evina Maltsi was honored by the Sportadore owner and exclusive distributor of Luanvi in Greece, Mr. Manos Sifakis. The only Greek woman who has conquered the 7 highest peaks in the world, Christina Flampouri, was awarded by the Pylos Association of Enterprises for Tourism Development President and Poseidonia Restaurant owner in Pylos, Mr. Vassilis Vrettakos. The wheelchair basketball and fencing athlete Georgia Kaltsi was awarded by the Hellenic Basketball Federation Member of the Board and Public Relations Officer, Mr. Konstantinos Asimakopoulos.
The evening ended with the Greek-American ultramarathon runner and ambassador of the event Dean Karnazes, who was awarded for his participation in the 10 marathons in total of Run Messinia, in 10 consecutive days, 200 years after the Greek revolution of 1821, by Mr. Byungmoo Theofilos Shin, Samsung Electronics Hellas President. In the event’s aftermath, Karnazes stated: “The 9th Annual Navarino Challenge was a celebration of all things Greek, sports, athleticism, curiosity, and the pursuit of aristia. On the bicentennial of Greek Independence nothing made me prouder than running in this land our forefathers fought to save and protect during the most beautiful 21 km race on earth. Next year will mark our 10th anniversary and I look forward to Navarino Challenge 2022!”
The award night was presented by the Euroleague legend Joe Arlauckas and the former basketball player, sports journalist and dynamic Euroleague reporter Dora Panteli. In fact, a big surprise was organized for Arlauckas as the event together with Trace ‘N Chase, awarded him a signed jersey of the NBA legend Julius Erving as a gift.
5km Powered by Samsung & Galaxy Fit2 gifts
On Sunday, runners had the opportunity to run in the top 21.1km Greek Half Marathon, together with the Greek-American ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes, on the 10km route by Caterpy and the fun 5km route Powered by Samsung. Starting from the Navarino Dunes at Costa Navarino, they ran along the coast to Pylos and crossed the beautiful Voidokilia beach, while they passed by the Gialova lagoon.
At the finish line, a unique gift awaited all participants in the 5km Powered by Samsung who acquired a Galaxy Fit2. The participants in the 10km by Caterpy received special no tie laces, by the company.
All the results are available online: https://www.navarinochallenge.com/event-2021/results-2021/.
At the same time, hundreds of young participants offered smiles in the children’s 1km route.
Navarino Challenge was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, the General Secretariat of Sport of the Ministry of Culture & Sport, the International Olympic Academy, the Greek National Tourism Organization and the Hellenic Basketball Federation while it was supported by the Municipality of Pylos-Nestor.
The event joined the Greek actions of the #BeactiveHellas 2021 program of the European Commission which was held under the auspices of the General Secretariat of Sports. The event was organized by ActiveMedia Group which was also responsible for the event’s Sports Production. All running races were co-organized with Messiniakos Gymnastic Club and EAS SEGAS Peloponnese Region.
Hashtags: #navarinochallenge #costanavarino #sportsunitepeople #eatwell #runwell #livewell
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/NavarinoChallenge.