Another online meeting with distinguished guests was crowned with success! This time we had the great honor to host in the context of our sports activities and on the occasion of World Volunteer Day, three great active Olympic Champions, the president of the Olympic Champions Association and silver medal Olympic champion of Water Polo, Evi Moraitidou, Sofia Papadopoulou, bronze medal Olympic champion in Sailing and Voula Zygouri, who took the 4th place in the Women's Wrestling at the 2004 Olympics. The purpose of the meeting was for our beneficiaries to understand that Volunteering is a wholehearted offer, to feel its importance through personal stories of Olympic champions and to get to know the values and messages that a voluntary action has. And who would do it better than our own Olympic champions!
The three exceptional athletes, representing the Association of Greek Olympic Champions, who gladly responded to our request, talked to the beneficiaries about the sports in which they have been distinguished, as well as the role that volunteering has played in their lives. With the immediacy that characterizes them, they discussed with the beneficiaries about their first steps and the dedication required for success to be brought, but also the crucial role of the volunteers during their athletic years. They described the importance of volunteering, as they experienced it at the Athens Olympics, where the volunteer movement was extremely dynamic. The active participation of the volunteers was an indisputable factor of success, as in addition to their practical contribution, they worked psychodynamically for the athletes, animating them daily.
The athletes spoke about the inseparable connection between sports and volunteering, since the development and improvement both in the competitive part and on a personal level are a common goal. The benefit of the social contribution is to the whole, but in the end the individual profit of the volunteer is many times greater. They wished for the beneficiaries to have the opportunity to experience the joy of volunteering, by offering with their contribution and the allocation of their time, to the formation of a fairer world. Volunteering is important because it enhances mutual aid and solidarity and contributes to the appreciation of all parties. Let us all become young Olympic champions of volunteering and surely the "medal of joy" we will receive will be of much greater value than the effort we put in.
The willingness of the beneficiaries to participate and the multitude of their questions turned another long distance communication into a meaningful live conversation. The children, many of whom are involved in sports, expressed their admiration for the Olympic champions and asked for advice about their studies at the Gymnastics Academy. The communication talent of all three created a really beautiful atmosphere, which was sealed with the promise of a lifelong acquaintance, as such contacts strengthen the self-confidence of the beneficiaries and contribute to the creation of models, especially necessary for their development.