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Greek Olympians Sworn in as Military Officers in Grand Ceremony

Olympic rowing gold medalist in Tokyo, Stefanos Douskos, along with other Greek Olympians, being sworn into the Greek military.
Stefanos Ntouskos, Eleftherios Petrounias, and Miltos Tentoglou, along with other Greek Olympians, being sworn into the Greek military. Credit: Ministry of National Defence of Greece

A host of Greek Olympians, including multi-medal winning athletes Eleftherios Petrounias and Miltos Tentoglou, have been sworn in as military officers at a ceremony involving the Minister of National Defense Nikos Dendias.

Which Greek Olympians were honored and sworn in as military officers?

Among the athletes given the honor were Olympic gymnastics champion Eleftherios Petrounias, gold-medal winning long jumper Miltos Tentoglou, sailor Sofia Papadopoulou, captain of the national polo team Ioannis Fountoulis with his teammate Marios Kapotsis, and other members of the national team in addition to rower Stefanos Ntouskos.

The Greek Olympians donned military uniforms as they took the oath with Deputy Minister of National Defense Ioannis A. Kefalogiannis and Deputy Minister of Education, Religion, and Sports Giannis Vroutsis also present at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club, where the ceremony took place.

Lieutenant Petrounias took the oath in the company of his wife, Vassiliki Millousi, and their children and took to social media to post a message, “Rank: Second Lieutenant! I feel very honored for the inclusion of the Olympians in the family of the armed forces! We are all happy for the recognition of our efforts!”

Ntouskos, who won a gold medal in rowing in the Tokyo Olympics, also posted on social media, saying, “With a sense of deep honor, I announce today my enlistment as a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry of the Greek Army. It is a great honor to be included in the Armed Forces family, next to respected (Greek) Olympians and colleagues who share the same devotion to the country.”

The Olympic polo champion, Konstantinos Genidounias, posted on social media: “An important day, a special day. Now, and with all formality, [we are] Officers of the Armed Forces.”

Tentoglou won gold in the men’s long jump at the European Games in Krakow in June last year with his 8.34 meter jump achieving maximum points for Greece at the European Championships for the third time.

Speaking to reporters after the win, the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist said the weather conditions were not good, and the wind did not help, but he managed to correct any mistakes he made in his first efforts of the day and eventually jump his winning 8.34-meter leap at the end.

At last year’s World Championships in Antwerp, Greek Olympian gymnast Petrounias took home the silver medal, which secured his spot in this year’s Olympics in Paris. In a remarkable display of strength and skill during the rings final, Petrounias reportedly almost got gold but finished second to Chinese gymnast Yan.

This display carried particular significance as Petrounias was competing for the single direct qualification spit for the upcoming Olympics. To secure his spot, he needed to outperform his competitors, including Azero Simonov, Austrian Heck, and Armenians Avetisian and Davtian. These athletes had already secured their positions through previous qualifications.

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