ATHENS – A great historic sports event revives the timeless values of Ancient Greece, linking past and present along with modern history, in the Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias and Hydna following the original marathon swimming route 2,500 years after it was first accomplished by Skyllias and his daughter Hydna, both of whom helped Greece in the historical naval battle of Artemision in the year 480 BC.
The event includes open water swimming races of 10km, 3km and 1.5km, as well as an 800m swimming race for kids that will take place on July 4-5, at Pefki, Evia in the Municipality of Istiaia-Edipsos, in this Olympic year.
The press conference of this historical sports tourism event was hosted at NJV Athens Plaza, in the presence of Deputy Minister of Culture & Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, President of the Greek National Tourism Organization Angela Gerekou, Secretary General of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) Dimitris Kafantaris, Mayor of Istiaia-Edipsos Ioannis Kontzias, silver Olympic medalist and world champion Spyros Gianniotis, Greek national federal technical coach Nikos Gemelos who has undertaken the technical direction and design of the swimming routes and Active Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akis Tsolis.
During the press conference, Deputy Minister of Culture & Sports, Lefteris Avgenakis said, “the organizers of this event need to be congratulated for teaching athletes the value and greatness of the historical achievement of those two swimmers. It is fully aligned with our philosophy of extroversion and the development of sports tourism in our areas. Thanks to this event the history of this land is promoted, and an opportunity for publicizing the natural wealth of the area is created, while also assisting in the development of the local economy and employment through the attraction of visitors from all around the country. The philosophy of this event thoroughly identifies with our main goal of making sport a way of life while achieving: improvement in quality of peoples’ lives, promotion of a healthy model of living and preparation of better citizens through sports. We work systematically in order to attract small and medium sized events that can establish our country as a force in sports tourism.”
President of the Greek National Tourism Organization Angela Gerekou said, “we support sports tourism, and the Authentic Marathon Swim. As we move forward with our strategy of sustainable tourism growth with regional and thematic specialization, we promote the development of tourism in all our country’s Regions. For Greece, sports tourism is pinpointed as a strategic target in the effort of promoting thematic specialization of the Greek tourism product. The new sporting event The Authentic Marathon Swim…aims at creating an event that can offer international recognition and increase tourism levels…By supporting actions that promote thematic forms of tourism, such as sports tourism, we highlight the multiple capabilities of the Greek tourism product, adding to the well-known saying ‘sun and sea.’ We are proving that through cooperation and methodical work we can apply our principles for balanced tourism growth between islands and mainland destinations, so that each region can be benefited.”
Olympic Silver medalist and world champion in open water swimming Spyros Gianniotis said, “this is an historic event that links our past and our present with the glorious times of Ancient Greece. I am honored to be a part of this sporting event being the first Olympic champion in marathon swimming coming from our country. I wish that through this initiative we can attract young champions and great swimmers from all around the world towards marathon swimming, to enjoy this authentic route.”
In an effort of globally promoting the event, the organizers will collaborate with internationally recognized platforms of global events, attracting athletes from abroad. More information on the swimming races and the opening of registrations will be announced in the following weeks.
More information is available online: www.authenticmarathonswim.com.
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