Stylianos Kyriakides: The Legendary Marathon Man Who Ran for Greece

Stylianos Kyriakides
Stylianos Kyriakides finishes first in 1946 Boston Marathon. Credit: Courtesy of Dimitris Kyriakides

Stylianos (Stelios) Kyriakides is a Greek legend for all Marathon runners, although he is best known for winning first place in the Boston Marathon in 1946.

The Greek long-distance runner did not travel to America for glory and records, however; he did it in order to raise money for his beloved, war-torn Greece.

After crossing the finishing line, clocking in at 2:29:27, Stylianos Kyriakides looked up in the skies and shouted “For Greece!” He then toured America to raise the desperately- needed funds that would be used to help feed and clothe his fellow Greeks back home.

It was purely patriotism and humanitarianism that made it all possible for the man who, when he was young, had been told that his feet and physique were not right for an athlete.

The remarkable runner is now being honored once again by his son, Dimitris Kyriakides, who is preparing a book about his father to be released in 2021, 75 years after his great victory.

The book, titled “The Life and Timeless Work of Stelios Kyriakides,” is a loving tribute to the charismatic Greek man by his son.

Stylianos Kyriakides
Photo courtesy of Dimitris Kyriakides

Born in Cyprus, Running for Greece

Stylianos Kyriakides was born on May 4, 1910, in the mountain village of Statos, in Cyprus, to his farmer parents, John and Eleni Ilia.

At the age of 19, the odd jobs he was doing to help his family brought him to work as a house boy in the home of the British doctor Reginal Cheverton.

It was there that Kyriakides learned English — but more importantly, he was told by Dr. Cheverton that he had the potential to become a good long distance runner.

In 1931, however, he had begun to develop knee pain, as well as pains in his chest. Dr. Cheverton, a long distance runner himself, told him that he had a low heart rate — meaning he could run for a long time.

Under Cheverton’s encouragement, Kyriakides began running late at night along Limassol Beach — wearing his work clothes.

When Cheverton returned to England, he sent the young man two running shirts and a pair of running shoes, allowing him to start training in a more serious way.

On February 1933, Kyriakides heard the announcement for the Pan-Cyprian Games and went to the stadium of Olympia club to train.

The reception Kyriakides received from the other athletes was not warm, however. They told him that he simply could never be a good runner. But his persistence was stronger than the pointed criticism from other runners.

In September of 1933 he was sent to Greece to take part in the National Championship and the Pre-Balkan races, where he came in second in the 10K.

It was the beginning of Kyriakides’ brilliant athletic career. From that moment on, he held the National Greek Marathon record until April 1968 — a total of 34 years and 6 months.

It was most likely the longest national record held by one man, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Stylianos Kyriakides
The long distance runner stretching before a marathon. Credit: Public Domain

A life of danger and adventure 

During the German occupation of Greece, Kyriakides assisted Resistance fighters by passing messages to different groups.

Owning a short wave radio that he had bought in Boston in 1938, he passed on the BBC news to other Greek people to give them courage during the War.

In early 1943, Kyriakides was arrested and taken to the main square in Chalandri along with another 49 people. They were all to be executed by hanging.

That grim fate was in retaliation for the killing of several German soldiers by the Resistancea a few days earlier. 

When Kyriakides was asked for his identification, he showed to the German officer his Berlin Olympics ID. The German was very surprised and asked him how he got it.

Kyriakides explained the story, and it just so happened the German officer was a long distance runner himself. By this strange quirk of fate, the Greek marathon runner was allowed to walk away. 

The other 49 Greeks were tragically killed that day; the searing incident marked Kyriakides deeply throughout the rest of his life. A few days later the German officer who had spoken to him visited his home to see his trophies.

The German then gave orders that that house should never be searched by German patrols from that time onward.

This gave Kyriakides the chance to hide in his basement several Allied parachutists whose planes had been shot out of the sky, until they could be safely transported to Egypt.

Pioneering runner

According to Dimitris Kyriakides’ book, his father was the first to have done things which are taken for granted now, that no other runner had ever done before:

  1. Train with his coach by correspondence in 1934-35 and 1945 (Greece to Cyprus)
  2. Kyriakides used a wrist stopwatch for pace – 1934
  3. He did stretching exercises before warming up – 1935
  4. Kyriakides followed a strict diet  – 1935
  5. He was the first to run for charity (for war-stricken Greece)  – in Boston in 1946
  6. He also ran for a special cause  – in Boston 1947 (To collect money and athletic gear for Greek team can go to the 1948 London Olympics)
  7. First non-American or Canadian to win the Boston Marathon
  8. First runner to be featured in an American comic book

A lifetime of honors

Kyriakides passed away in Athens in 1987. Yet his legacy as a great runner who served his country and humanity lives on.

He was awarded the “Grand Cross of the Phoenix” by the King of the Greeks at that time. The marathoner was also honored for his contribution from several municipalities in Greece.

In the United States, Kyriakides was honored by the Governor of Massachusetts, the Olympic Committee of the U.S.A. and other officials.

In The Sports Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, there is a permanent exhibition in honor of the Greek phenomenon, with the title “Stylianos Kyriakides – Running for Mankind.”

In 2004 — after an award from the Athletic Federation of Hopkinton, the city of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where the Boston Marathon starts, unveiled a stunning statue of Kyriakides called “The Spirit of the Marathon.”

The statue was dedicated on the 60th anniversary of his victory in 2006. A copy of the same sculpture has been placed in the Municipality of Marathon in Greece.

 

Piraeus Bank Presents ’21 Lectures on ’21’

Greek War of Independence
Georgios Karaiskakis. Public Domain

The Piraeus Bank celebrates the 200th Anniversary of the Greek War of Independence with a series of events.

The online lecture series “21 Lectures on ‘21,” which features many specialists from the University of Athens, is moderated by historian Maria Efthymiou.

The online lectures take place every Wednesday at 7 pm, with an increasing number of attendees logging in.
People can access the lectures on the video conferencing Webex platform, but can also watch on YouTube.

The series of lectures is part of a more comprehensive Piraeus Bank initiative celebrating the Greek War of Independence.

The project is encompassing academic research, cultural events, as well as artistic and literary events, with the participation of significant institutions and experts.

Its purpose is to highlight the brave struggle of Greeks for liberty in 1821 and assess Greece’s 200 years of statehood.

Another event scheduled is an international conference on the bicentennial of the Greek War of Independence organized by the University of Athens that will take place in March.

An academic symposium, “Views on Everyday Life in Revolutionary Greece,” and the resulting publication is another event.

A series of 11 seminars titled “200 Years of Greece: Reflections and Prospects” complete the 299th-anniversary celebrations.

Chairman of the board at Piraeus Bank, George Handjinicolaou, stated that 200 after   1821 is a milestone for the Greek state:

“it is a historic moment for reflection, introspection, reappraisal, and reinterpretation of the most important events of this great but troubled journey that led us to the Greece of today.”

Participation in the National Historical Museum

The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, which established the National Historical Museum, participates in the bicentennial celebrations.

The “Re-Constitution 21” initiative is a floating exhibition highlighting the naval battles of the Greek War of Independence.

A sailing boat, donated by the Maria Tsakos Foundation, will host this exhibition as it sails across the Aegean.

The ship will be docking at all the islands that helped shape the Greek maritime effort and the country’s more remote islands.

The exhibition will include heirlooms from the war as well as digital educational presentations. The floating exhibition will stop at Chios and tour the northeast Aegean.

Piraeus Bank will collaborate with the National Historical Museum to put on two temporary exhibitions.

They will be set up at the Silversmithing Museum in Ioannina and the Open-Air Hydropower Museum in Dimitsana.

In Ioannina, visitors will be able to see the dress of Kyra Frosini, who was executed by the local Ottoman governor Ali Pasha.

Visitors will also see Ali Pasha’s musket and a manuscript of Greek hero Markos Botsaris, among other items.

In Dimitsana, the exhibition will feature the epaulets and ring of Theodoros Kolokotronis, relics from Patriarch Gregory V, and pistols and muskets belonging to military captain Nikitaras.

The exhibition “1821 Done Differently: The Greek War of Independence Portrayed with Playmobil Dioramas and Figurines” will take place on Lesvos and then move to Volos.

Nine participating museums and Greeks abroad

The nine participating museums of Piraeus Bank, its Historical Archives building in Athens, and a theater in New York will all host “The Society of Friends: The Brotherhood Behind the Revolution.” I

The play is directed by Ioli Andreadi, who, along with Aris Asproulis, has conducted archival research into the era and curated the script.

For younger audiences, Sofia Kalantzakou has written a story about Dimitsana and its role in the production of gunpowder.

Finally, Piraeus Bank and the Diplomacy and Greeks Abroad Secretariats agreed to encourage Diaspora Greeks to join the celebrations by bringing these events to their communities.

 

Apollo Vs Agamemnon: The Plague in Ancient Greece was Divine Wrath

The plague in ancient Greece
Smithian Apollo about shooting arrows of plague against Greeks to avenge his priest insulted by Agamemnon. Silver didrachm. Apollo Sminthios from Sminthos, a city in the Hellespont. Credit: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. http://www.cngcoins.com, CC BY-SA 3.0/Wikimedia

By Evaggelos Vallianatos

The case of the plague in ancient Greece may still give us a pose for reflection.

The Greeks gave diseases precise names. They called plague loimos (pestilence). They described disease, sorrow, and suffering as nosos, from which we have nosocomial (hospital) disease.

The plague made its first appearance among the Greeks as a weapon of divine wrath.

Agamemnon, their commander-in-chief, offended Chryses, the priest of Apollo, and Apollo spread pestilence among them.

At the beginning of the first book of the Iliad of Homer, Agamemnon insulted Apollo’s priest by refusing to give back his daughter, whom he had captured in a raid.

The priest knelt in front of Agamemnon and begged him to release his daughter.

But Agamemnon told the priest to get out of his sight as quickly as he could, lest he lost his patience.

The frightened priest runs away from the Greek camp. When he was at a safe distance, he immediately prayed to Apollo to punish the Greeks.

He reminded the god he had built a temple to honor and worship him, offering him rich sacrifices. Make the Greeks pay for my tears; he appealed to Apollo.

Chryses called Apollo Sminthian the god of plague. The name Sminthos came from a town in Troas near which the Greeks had possibly pitched their camp.

Apollo listened to Chryses. He became very angry with the insolence of Agamemnon.

He rushed “like night” out of Mt. Olympos in Thessaly and landed in the Greek camp near Troy.

He started shooting his invisible plague arrows at mules and dogs and then soldiers.

Homer says the dead fell to the ground for nine days, and fires everywhere burned their bodies.

This plague came to an end by appeasing Apollo.

Achilles, “of the swift feet,” the greatest hero of the Trojan War, asked Kalchas, the “blameless” seer accompanying the troops, to reveal the cause Apollo was spreading the plague among the Greeks.

Achilles assured Kalchas he could count on him for his protection, so he urged him to tell the truth.

Kalchas said Apollo was furious because of the way Agamemnon had treated his priest, Chryses.

The Greeks, Kalchas said, should return “the glancing-eyed” daughter of the priest, Chryseis, to him and sacrifice 100 cattle in honoring Apollo, who would then cease his biological warfare against them.

Despite the threats of Agamemnon, Achilles and Kalchas prevailed. The Greeks returned Chryseis to her father. Apollo stopped shooting them with his disease arrows.

Anthropogenic pandemic

However, during the ninth year of the Trojan War, the plague returned to the Greek camp and Troy. The pestilence was ravaging the neighboring cities in the Hellespont.

At this moment, Palamedes, a genius of craftsmanship and inventor of writing, weights and measures, counting, and military tactics and strategies convinced the Greek soldiers to fight the plague by becoming healthier.

He introduced a new diet and vigorous athletic training and competition. He replaced the eating of meat with dry fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

He also organized rowing competitions and athletic games outside the narrow and unhealthy camp.

He even convinced Agamemnon to reward the victors with prizes. The plague barely afflicted the soldiers who honored Palamedes.

Homer ignores Palamedes. This story comes to us in the writings of Philostratos, a Greek historian of the third century of our era.

Lessons from the Homeric Greeks

The wrath of Apollo three millennia ago could easily take the form of the wrath of nature in the twenty-first century.

Offending the gods had deadly consequences.

We no longer have gods. We have replaced those anthropomorphic and civilized, and democratic gods with mean one-god tyrants.

These regimes of tyranny foster living under the delusion of being omnipotent.

Not only do we have frightful and genocidal weapons on the ready for the potential extermination of our real or imaginary enemies, but we direct our misguided and unethical power against the natural world, indirectly digging our own graves.

So, would it be wrong to think of our virus pestilence as divine wrath coming not from Apollo but from his sister, goddess Artemis, now represented by the endangered natural world?

Even closer to home, we know the sources for plagues are as far as our animal farms, disease factories for decades.

And yet, the profit of slaughtering animals by the billions is so large. The brainwashing for eating meat so pervasive that the obsession of fighting the pandemic is only with synthetic drugs we call vaccines.

Palamedes’ advice is still the answer to defeating this and future plagues. Better health.

What must be done

Start with getting rid of pesticides in our food. These poisons defeat our natural defenses: they weaken and often shatter our immune system, making it easier for the plague to make us sick or kill us.

Pesticides are not necessary for growing food. Organic farmers are the proof. They grow healthy food.

With a federal policy change from pesticide-dependent agriculture to family farming guided by agroecological science, organic farmers would have no trouble feeding the nation.

The second change to defeat recurring or continuing pandemics would be to address the life and death threats of climate change seriously.

This monster is fed by the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, billions of cars fueled by petroleum, and industrialized agriculture, especially its animal sacrifice zones.

These enclosures, also known as animal farms, resemble sardine cans packed with too many sardines.

They are the annual killing grounds for about 9 billion hogs, cattle, chicken, turkeys, and other domesticated animals.

Animals forced to live in such proximity to each other trigger diseases, some of which have the potential of becoming pandemics.

The additional harm of these hell holes is that the mountains of animal excrement produce diseases and greenhouse gases like methane.

Experts figure that these animal disease factories may be responsible (with the rest of industrialized agriculture) for a third to a half of all US greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.

Thus, if President Joe Biden wants to be true to his promises and should, he needs to ban or phase out pesticides and reform or abolish animal farms.

This would be a good beginning to removing fossil fuels entirely from our economy and society.

The eternal Sun god Helios, god for the Greeks and other ancient people, is beckoning to save us from our madness.

Solar and other forms of non-polluting energy have the potential to create a more just and livable society here and elsewhere in our beautiful world.

These are not easy choices, but then ignoring them will only get us in more danger. Scientists have been warning us we have no more than this decade to clean up our nest.

Our children and the Earth demand it. Threatening the Earth is utterly barbarian hubris. Plato said the Earth is the oldest of the gods and the maker of days. She is our mother.

Evaggelos Vallianatos is a historian and environmental theorist. He worked on Capitol Hill and the US Environmental Protection Agency for several years. He is the author of hundreds of articles and 6 books. The article is republished with permission from the author’s blog https://vallianatos.blogspot.com/.

Coronavirus: 25 Deaths Recorded in Greece as Viral Load Remains High

Coronavirus Greece
326 coronavirus patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Credit: Greek Reporter

Greece confirmed 884 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, with 7 of these identified at entry points to the country, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) said on Sunday.

The reduced number of cases, however, is entirely due to the fewer tests conducted (23,139 vs. 43,310 during the previous 24-hour period).

The incidence of positive results rose to 3.82% from 3.29%.

Greece has confirmed 179,802 infections from the start of the pandemic, showing a daily change of +0.5 percent.

In the confirmed cases of the last seven days, 46 infections are considered related to travel from abroad and 2,417 to already-confirmed cases.

326 patients on ventilators

In addition, 326 patients are on ventilators in hospitals. Their median age is 70 years and 86.2 percent have an underlying condition and/or are aged 70 or over.

Another 1,273 have been discharged from ICUs since the pandemic began.

Another 259 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours, a rise of 4.86 percent since the previous day.

The average number of admissions of patients with Covid-19 to hospitals was 224 patients over the last seven days.

There are also 25 new confirmed deaths related to the virus, bringing the total of pandemic victims to 6,297.

Of these, nearly all, or 95.7 percent, had an underlying condition and/or were 70 years of age.

Coronavirus load still high

The viral load in a sampling of Athens wastewater remains high, according to a professor conducting the research on this vital means of vial detection.

Nikos Thomaidis, a professor of analytical chemistry at Athens University, said the viral load shows no significant difference from its levels of 7, 15 or 21 days ago and remains “heavy and very high.”

“We are still waiting to see the effect of (extra lockdown measures) in limiting transmission (of the virus),” Thomaidis told the Mega television channel.

Professor Theodoros Vassilakopoulos, a lung specialist, told Skai TV that at least the death rate in Greece is declining, a fact he attributed to the start of the vaccination campaign for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.

Coronavirus vaccinations in Greece near 700,000

Earlier on Sunday, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias paid a visit to the coronavirus vaccination center at Ippokratio General Hospital in Athens.

People who missed their appointments due to the snowstorm last week came in to get their shots.

“Despite the fact Sunday is not usually a day to be vaccinated, today we are doing so for our fellow citizens who missed their appointments due to the weather,” the Minister said.

He added that inoculations will resume on schedule this coming week at National Health System hospitals, the Mega Center, and other centers as well.

He also confirmed that the number of vaccinations completed so far, whether for the first installment or the second, are nearing 700,000.

Greece Extends Flight Restrictions to March 8

Travel restrictions for Greece
Travelers arriving at Chios airport. Credit: Greek Reporter

On Sunday, Greece extended their current flight restrictions, including obligatory self-isolation on all international arrivals coming into the country, to March 8.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CYA) issued a new notice to airmen, or Notam, which among other rules stipulates the following :

  • Flights from non-EU and non-Schengen Agreement countries to Greece are banned.

Exceptions include citizens of the following countries: Australia, Israel, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

  • All international arrivals must furnish a negative coronavirus (PCR) test taken a maximum of 72 hours before travel.
  • All international arrivals must observe a 7-day quarantine wherever they are housed (declared on the Passenger Locator Form, or PLF).

The PLF still a key element

All travelers must not complete their PLF until the day before entering the country and the day before leaving the country, providing detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece.

In case of multiple stays, they must provide the address for at least the first 24 hours. Just one PLF should be submitted per family.

Travelers will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the PLF.

Travelers will receive the PLF with their unique Quick Response (QR) code on the day of their scheduled arrival in Greece and will be notified via email (the QR code will be provided in a link in the confirmation email).

The PLF can also be found on the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr. It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free before they arrive in Greece.

Random testing and quarantine

  • For UK-originating passengers, a PCR test will be required after the 7-day quarantine.
  • Random testing will also be carried out on arrival at Greek airports. If results are positive, a 14-day quarantine will be required.
  • Flights between Greece and Turkey continue to be suspended until March 8.
  • All flights to and from Albania and North Macedonia will only be through at Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.
  • The maximum number of travelers from the Russian Federation is 500 per week (permanent Russian residents). The flights to and from Russia will only operate through the Athens, Thessaloniki, and Iraklio International Airports.
  • Exceptions to the above contained in previous Notams remain in effect.

Heroes of the 1821 Revolution Adorn Athens’ National Garden

Heroes of revolution
Portraits of 1821 heroes displayed at the National garden. Credit: National Historical Museum

The open-air exhibition in Athens titled ‘History Has A Face’ is already in progress in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek War of Independence.

As of February 8, the portraits of 22 heroes of the 1821 Revolution adorn the National Garden wall facing Vasilissis Sofias Avenue.

The exhibition is one of the many celebratory projects in Greece and other parts of the world for the 200th Anniversary of the 1821 Revolution.

The project is in collaboration with the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, the National Historical Museum, and the Municipality of Athens.

The open-air event presents 22 portraits among the 320 unique faces sketched by Benjamin Mary (1792-1846), a Belgian diplomatic representative in Greece.

The portraits were drawn mainly in Athens, between 1839 and 1844. They are exhibited for the first time, introducing known and unknown faces of the Greek War of Independence.

Through the sensitive and penetrating gaze of a European artist, fighters, politicians, priests, scholars, philhellenes, and everyday people are portrayed by Benjamin Mary.

The Belgian diplomat had managed to capture expressions in a unique moment in history when Greeks went to the liberation war shouting ‘Liberty or Death.’

Among the faces gazing from the National Garden wall are Theodoros Kolokotronis, Nikitaras, Lampros Kountouriotis, Ioannis Makrygiannis, Giannakis Hadjipetrou.

Also, George Finlay, Panos Notaras, Kolettis, Nikolaos Petimezas, Markos Botsaris, and others are exhibited.

More historical data, as well as information about the depicted persons, are contained in the publication “History has a face – Figures of 1821 in Otto’s Greece.”

It is a compilation of Benjamin Mary’s work, published by the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece.

Greek War of Independence
Portraits of 1821 heroes displayed at the National garden. Credit: National Historical Museum

Freedom Time: The Watches of the Fighters of ’21

The 1821 Revolution fighters’ pocket watches are presented in a separate exhibition at the National Historical Museum.

“Freedom Time: The Watches of the Fighters of ’21” is a glimpse back in time, literally and figuratively.

The watches were worn before, during, and after the Greek War of Independence, counting the fighters’ anxiety and dangers.

The precious watches belonged to the protagonists of the War of Independence: Theodoros Kolokotronis Petrobey Mavromichalis, Markos Botsaris, Kanellos Diligiannis, and others.

The invaluable timekeepers are exhibited along with other personal items and documents, revealing more about those brave Greeks’ personalities.

A separate section is about the man who was sent to Switzerland to learn the art of watchmaking by the first Governor of Greece, Ioannis Kapoidistrias.

Through Kapodistrias’ personal belongings, the story of the ordering of the valuable gifts that he offered to Kolokotronis and other Fighters of ’21 is revealed.

Greece’s Former National Theater Director Arrested on Rape Charges

National Theater director faces rape charges
Former Greek National Theater Artistic Director Dimitris Lignadis. Credit: Facebook/National Theatre of Greece

Former Greek National Theater Artistic Director Dimitris Lignadis is being held in custody after a warrant for his arrest was issued on charges of serial rape.

Lignadis is accused of two rapes. One of a 14-year-boy, in 2010, and another for which the victim has been deposed in front of prosecutors and which has not been made known as of yet.

A woman who was intimately connected with Lignadis and was knowledgeable about his private life is said to have provided important testimony.

According to the Hellenic Police, Lignadis presented himself at police headquarters, in central Athens, where he was subsequently arrested.

He is being held at the building pending an appearance before an examining magistrate.

The judicial authorities moved in complete secrecy, with prosecutors working methodically and swiftly, examining many witnesses in the cases.

The witnesses brought to light crucial information for the prosecution, leading prosecutors Costas Spyropoulos and Nikos Stefanatos to press criminal charges.

The case file had been forwarded to the public investigator, who agreed to issue the arrest warrant.

The new testimonies against Lignadis that were presented to the prosecution by the witnesses are incriminating. The accused will be taken to the interrogator immediately after his arrest.

Political repercussions

Lignadis had resigned from his post earlier this month after complaining of what he called a “toxic climate of rumors, innuendo, and leaks.”

However, since he was appointed to the post of National Theater artistic director by the Minister of Culture, Melina Mendoni, the government is now under fire.

Following the accusations against Lignadis, opposition parties blame prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Mendoni.

Both Mitsotakis and Mendoni are accused of being aware of Lignadis’s illegal activities, yet they put him at the highest post of Greece’s National Theater.

Minister of Culture defends herself

Social media is on fire over the issue as more and more people come to the forefront speaking about lewd activities in the theater world.

On Friday, the Minister of Culture held a press conference to reply to an avalanche of accusations and calls to resign.

Mendoni said she herself had confronted Lignadis about the accusations — many of which took place so long ago that they are beyond the criminal statute of limitations.

“We strongly pressured Lignadis to say if he was the one named in the rumors… there was a steady denial that the rumors were not about him,” Mendoni said.

“Lignadis deceived us and deceived me with theatrical performance,” Mendoni said, according to Greece’s state-run news agency AMNA.

Mendoni called Lignadis “a dangerous man” who had managed to deceive many people about his actions.

Greece Triumphs Against Russia in Water Polo to Make it to Olympics

Greece water polo
Greece’s water polo team qualifies for the Olympics. Credit: Hellenic Swimming Federation

Greece’s water polo team clinched a place in the Tokyo Olympics after beating Russia 13-10 in a nail-biting game on Saturday night.

The Greek team qualified for the 16th time and 11th consecutive for the Olympic games.

The National team started the match impressively and led 4-1. The Russians reacted immediately and tied at 5-5 shortly before the end of the half, which found Greece leading 6-5.

At the end of the third period Greece had increased its lead to 2 goals (11-9).

On the fourth period Angelos Vlachopoulos, who was voted man of the match, scored a crucial goal to lead to Greece to victory (13-10).

Great day for Greece

“It is a great day for Greece, water polo and the country’s sports. I congratulate all the contributors to this great success, players and coaches,” the president of the Hellenic Swimming Federation Dimitris Diathesopoulos said.

“Water polo continues the tradition and is the flag bearer of Greece in team sports in the top event in the world,” he added.

“Our players played a great game, and if they play in the Olympics like today, they will not easily lose to any team,” Diathesopoulos said.

On Friday, the Blue and White claimed a dramatic victory on penalties against France for the men’s Olympic water polo qualification tournament quarter-final stage.

The Greece men’s national water polo team represents Greece in international men’s water polo competitions and it is organized and run by the Hellenic Swimming Federation.

Greece’s long tradition in water polo

Greece has a long tradition of strong presence at international level, with their major successes being the two bronze medals won at the World Championship in 2005 and 2015.

The Greeks have also won a silver medal at the World Cup in 1997, three bronze medals at the World League in 2004, 2006 and 2016.

They have also won one silver (2018) and four bronze medals (1951, 1991, 1993, 2013) at the Mediterranean Games.

Moreover, they have closely missed a medal in the 2016 European Championship, the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2003 World Championship and the 1999 European Championship.

Greece is one of only nine national teams in the world to have won (at least) a medal in the World Championship, currently occupying the eighth place on the medal table, one above Germany.

They have qualified at least for the quarter-finals in all their World Championship participations since 1994, winning the two aforementioned bronze medals and never finishing below the 6th place from 2001 and on.

The Greek War of Independence Through American Eyes

Greek War of Independence
The Sortie of Missolonghi by Theodoros Vryzakis. Public Domain

The Hellenic College Holy Cross and Stockton University will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Greek War of Independence with a special exhibition.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will inaugurate the exhibition titled ‘The Greek Revolution Through American Eyes’ on March 22.

The exhibition will take place at the Maliotis Cultural Center of the Hellenic College Holy Cross, Brookline, MA, until October 15, 2021.

The Digital and Physical Traveling Exhibition, ‘The Greek Revolution through American Eyes,’ will open at Stockton University in Fall 2021.

The collaborative project was created by the Maliotis Cultural Center and Dean C. and Zoë S. Pappas Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies of Stockton University.

The exhibition is directed by Dr. Tom Papademetriou (Stockton University) and Dr. Nicholas Ganson (Hellenic College).

The main theme of ‘The Greek Revolution Through American Eyes.’

The special exhibition deals with the common themes that bind Greece and the United States, two nations that emerged after fighting wars for independence.

The main theme of ‘The Greek Revolution Through American Eyes’ is the fight for universal freedom and liberty, won on battlefields with bravery and sacrifice.

The physical exhibit comprises twenty-four-panel displays with information researched by sixteen contributing scholars from the U.S. and Greece.

The essays are included in the Digital exhibit website. The physical exhibition will tour universities and community centers throughout the United States.

Four specific themes

The exhibition explores four themes:

1) Freedom or Death: Greece in the Age of Revolutions,

2) Monroe’s Empathy: Rooting for Greek Victory, Forging a Doctrine of Non-Intervention,

3) Greek Fever: American Philhellenes and the Birth of International Humanitarianism, and

4) 400 Years a Slave: Greek Unfreedom and American Abolitionism.

The exhibition presents the viewer with the Greek uprising as seen through Americans’ writings and actions who supported and fought in the war.

It also allows viewers to consider the formation of U.S. identity in the first fifty years of the nation’s existence.

The shaping of U.S. foreign policy in light of events in Greece and Europe and the issue of slavery that led to the American Civil War are also explored.

The Greek version of the exhibition

There will also be a Greek version of the exhibition ‘The Greek Revolution Through American Eyes.’

It will be a collaboration with the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle and the Laboratory of Narrative Research at the School of English of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

The Greek version of the exhibition will be displayed in Fall 2021 in Thessaloniki and other locations in Greece.

Bourla Vows to Double Vaccine Production as Biden Visits Pfizer

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Bourla promises to increase Pfizer vaccine output
Bourla promised to increase Pfizer vaccine output when he met with US President Joe Biden. Credit: Twitter/AlbertBourla

U.S. President Joe Biden met with Pfizer Inc CEO Albert Bourla on Friday to discuss the country’s COVID-19 vaccine stockpile, estimated to be ready by Summer 2021.

The meeting took place in Michigan, the pharmaceutical company’s largest manufacturing facility in the United States, Reuters reports.

Bourla announced during the visit that he expects to more than double the approximately 5 million vaccine doses per week the company currently provides to the U.S. government.

Bourla said it is possible to increase vaccine supply because of improvements in the manufacturing processes at the plant.

He also said that better lab testing methods and President Biden’s use of powers under the Defense Production Act could speed up production.

President Biden: “(We’re) doing everything possible”

The Biden administration is trying to accelerate the vaccination campaign as state governments ask for more doses.

So far, over 28 million Americans have been infected by COVID-19, while close to 500,000 have lost their lives, according to Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center figures.

President Biden said he was confident he would distribute 100 million COVID-19 shots during his first 100 days in office.

Less than 15 percent of Americans have been vaccinated so far, while the daily numbers of infections and casualties continue to be alarming.

Biden said that the government is doing everything possible to end the coronavirus spread but said that any semblance of normalcy is still months away.

President Biden urges Americans to get vaccinated

The U.S. President urged Americans to get their inoculations, adding that the vaccine is safe.

He said that after touring the Pfizer plant, he was impressed at how fastidious the testing process is and how it takes less time to make the vaccine than to test it.

Pfizer has said it will provide the U.S. government with 100 million doses by the end of March and 100 million more by May.

The company has already provided 40 million doses to the U.S. government as of February 17, Bourla said.

Pfizer has not provided all doses promised to the EU

The U.S. pharmaceutical company has not yet provided all the doses promised to the European Union, EU officials told Reuters.

Specifically, as of Wednesday, it had not yet delivered to the European Union about 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that were due in December.

This left the EU about one-third short of the supply it had expected from the U.S. pharmaceuticals manufacturer.

The EU has also faced vaccine delivery delays from British-Swedish AstraZeneca Plc and U.S. biotech Moderna Inc.