In a simple yet extraordinarily impressive way, opened – officially – the Hall of the World Wrestling Youngster and Girls Championship at the Olympic Centre of Wrestling in Ano Liosia, with representatives of the State, Local Government and Sports.

The opening ceremony gave the opportunity to athletes – which a few hours earlier had begun their effort to distinguish in the event – but also to the fans found in the Olympic Centre, to get a little taste of Greek culture and Greek civilization. The video wall in the meantime was showing Greece’s sights and pictures, as well directly videos connected to the fight.

The excerpt that was presented was impressive – just a part of a wider work performed in Ancient Olympia and Nemea describes the origin of the sport, which is rooted in the rich Greek Mythology.

The opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Tourism Ms. Elena Kountoura, Deputy Minister of Sports George Vassiliadis, the President of the Union of Centers Vasilis Leventis, the Vice-President of the European Federation and member of the World Wrestling Federation Mr Theodoros Hamakos, the General Secretary of Sports Ioulios Synadinos, the Mayor of Fyli Christos Pappous, the Greek Olympic Committee Chairman Spyros Kapralos, Syriza Member of Parliament Eleni Avlonitou and New Democracy Member of Parliament Anna Karamanli.

The chairman of the Greek Wrestling Federation, Dimitris Trambakoulas, in his greeting said: “We welcome you to the World Championship of Youngsters and Girls in Athens. It is a joy and an honour to accommodate you here. Once again, it turns out that sport unites. Our thanks goes also to Kostas Thanos, the former President of the Wrestling Federation. Everyone who is getting involved in the sport of wrestling, despite the adverse conditions, are worth congratulations. I wish to everyone to have good contests, without injuries and we’re happy that we can to admire the future Olympians”.

Dimitris Trambakoulas honoured Tourism Minister, Elena Kountoura: “It is a great honor for me, as an old athlete, to be in such a great environment. Sport tourism is uniting the nations”, said Ms. Kountura. The Greek Wrestling Federation chairman also awarded the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports Giorgos Vassiliadis. “I would like sincerely thank you from my heart. It is a great pleasure for us today not only to see that the best athletes in the world have been gathered here, but also because this facility gets life again after 13 years, after being spectacular in the spotlight in the Olympic Games 2004. I want to believe that today is the beginning of even bigger events in this place”, Mr Vasiliadis stated.

Finally, the Mayor of Fyli, Christos Pappous was also honoured by Dimitris Trambakulas. “After 13 years here at Fyli region, in Ano Liossia, the heart of the world wrestling is beating again. It is a great honour for our Municipality to host this event. I wish the young people good luck, without injuries. I’m sure you will make us proud”, said Mr Pappous. The great surprise of the opening ceremony was the presence of Elen Maroulis, who was officially invited and hosted by the Greek Wrestling Federation. The Greek-American gold Olympic Champion of Rio and world champion a few days ago was honoured by Maria Prevolaraki, who won the bronze medal at the recent World Championship. “It is a great honour to be part at an event, in a place where the Olympic Games began. I’m looking forward to enjoy the games” Maroulis commented.

Ms Prevolaraki, on her part, stated: “We welcome you to the World Championship. It is a great pleasure to host this great event in Greece”. With the completion of the opening ceremony, Theodoros Hamakos declared the start of the Games: “On behalf of the World Wrestling Federation and of the President Nenad Lalovic, I welcome you to Athens and Ano Liossia at the World Championship of Youngsters and Girls. We are in front of the new generation of champions and Olympians”.

The Greek National Tourism Organization, the Region of Attica and the Municipality of Fyli are supporters of the event. Theoni Waters and Ipirotiki are Executive Sponsors of the games, while Cosmote TV and Sportime are Communication Sponsors.