A great historical sports event revives, linking past and present along with modern History, reminding people of the timeless values of Ancient Greece. The Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias & Hydna represents the revival of 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 B.C.
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, 2020, at Pefki, Evia in the Municipality of Istiaia-Edipsos, on 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, Mr. Lefteris Avgenakis, President of the Greek National Tourism Organization, Mrs. Angela Gerekou, Secretary General of Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE), Mr. Dimitris Kafantaris, Mayor of Istiaia-Edipsos, Mr. 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, Mr. Lefteris Avgenakis stated: “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”.
The President of the Greek National Tourism Organization, Mrs. Angela Gerekou stated: “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. Moving towards this direction we are in pursuit of significant events that can offer high added value to local communities and our country. In this context, sporting events adopt a vital role, due to the high level of interaction that they possess and due to the physical presence of participants that leads to a significant reach in the overall population. 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”, driven by the historical moment of Skyllias’ and his daughter’s Hydna swim from Afetes to Artemision, aims at creating an event that can offer international recognition and increase tourism levels. Greek National Tourism Organization aligns its position with the Ministry of Tourism and supports the publicization and promotion of such attempts, providing our Auspices, in order to give organizers another motive to achieve the best possible results. 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, and give benefit back to the economy and the community. Finally, I would like to add that we are in continuous communications with the Municipality of Istiaia-Edipsos and all responsible bodies in order to have a successful event”.
On behalf of the event’s organization, Mayor of Istiaia-Edipsos, Mr. Ioannis Kontzias stated: “Our Municipality, through the motivation of the historical and cultural background of this land, initiates through the emblematic swimming event “The Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias & Hydna”, a variety of extroversive actions with the goal of developing and boosting our tourism product”.
A statement was also made by silver Olympic champion in open water swimming, as Spyros Gianniotis stated: “This is an historical 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”.
The Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias & Hydna aims at uniting people of all nations and areas of this world, providing them with an opportunity of discovering and experiencing the history of the authentic marathon swimming 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.
Many prominent personalities from the area of swimming were present at the press conference. People who have helped and continue to strengthen the Greek sport, each one in their own way and through their position, such as Marianna Lymperta, Dimitris Manganas, Dimitris Negris, Giannis Kotsiopoulos, Spyros Chrysikopoulos, Ioannis Palantzas and Nikolaos Simantiras.
A statement was sent by the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Harry Theoharis, in which he states: “Culture and Tourism are two concepts that are tightly linked, especially when they “meet” in order to illustrate the history of our land. The organization of events that promote culture and tourism, is considered vital by our Ministry and Government, obtaining our full support. An event of this nature is “The Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias & Hydna”. The event that takes place with the permission of the Hellenic Swimming Federation and under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, will attempt to do exactly that, by promoting the historical wealth of Artemision and Greece. A sporting event, that is simultaneously considered to be a staple of tourism and culture, with added value for the local community and the surrounding area as it contributes towards the promotion and the extension of services offered to tourists and customers that visit our country. Sports tourism identifies one of the main forms of thematic tourism, featuring great potential for growth in our country, being considered as one of the immediate priorities in the strategic planning of the Ministry of Tourism for the following decade. Our country, having a mild climate and an unparalleled coastline, is ideal for the development of sports tourism and the organization of such events. I would like to offer my warmest regards and congratulations to the organizers and participants, while noting that such events contribute towards the overall attempt of developing Greek tourism and the promotion of our country”.
Moreover a statement to the organization was sent by the President of the Hellenic Swimming Federation, Mr. Dimitris Diathesopoulos who mentioned: “The Hellenic Swimming Federation, being the most relevant athletic federation, supports your event as it will be held under our auspices and I would like to believe that, similar to other attempts, it will succeed in terms of its organization and in terms of competition. Through this particular event the history of our country is highlighted, as it revives the authentic marathon swim of Skyllias and his daughter Hydna during the historical Naval Battle of Artemision, 2.500 years later. Best wishes to all participants and good luck”.
The Authentic Marathon Swim, Skyllias & Hydna will be co-organized by the Municipality of Istiaia-Edipsos and Active Media Group.