Greek triumph in Equestrian

Triumph for Greece in Equestrian Division C1_4 held at the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre. Nikos Paganis from Serres won the gold medal and Chrysanthi Chatziemmanouil the silver, while in fourth place came Panagiotis Vassiliadis. N. Paganis is 25 years old and has been riding for three years. This is the third time he is participating in the games. He thanked his coach, Stelios and his best friend, Maria. He is a great fan of PAOK (Salonika) even though he says “the rest of the family supports Panathinaikos”. Nikos has two siblings and he likes to follow football. In Division B1_4, Paschalia Koukouli, only 14 years old, took second place and, as she said, she fulfilled her dream.


The ambassador of Ireland to Greece, H.E. Sheehan Charles Aquinas was at the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre today. He stated that he was satisfied with the games and the venues and proud of the Special Olympics.

Mariusz Damentko, Regional Sports Director of the Special Olympics from Poland, stated that he was enthusiastic about the fact that the games were taking place in Greece. He feels that the spirit of the games and of Greece is still very much alive, and was impressed by the games’ opening ceremony. He thinks that participation and support of the games are important, in which everybody is a winner. Today he was at the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre and made an award presentation.

Mirja-Liisa PUNTALA from Finland, at 64 years old, reached the top spot in Equestrian Division Cl_1.  At the moment of being presented the gold medal, she burst into tears! She has been riding for 12 years and, as she stated, she will continue as long as she can mount a horse.

Anke Τytgat, 17 years old, from Belgium, came to the games to follow her dream.  She started riding five years ago and she will continue with this sport because she likes it a lot. It is the first time she has come to Greece and she has already visited the Acropolis.
Simon K. Shaddai, 14 years old from Lebanon, has been riding for two years. He likes Greece very much and he likes Greek food. He goes to a special school and when he finishes he wants to study to be an electrician.
Noellia Cappetta, 24 years old from Uruguay, has been horse riding for less than one year. She loves the sport and the horses. Her parents are proud of her and for this reason, even though a bit nervous, she did her best. Because of training for the games, she didn’t have the time to get to know Athens, but would have liked to.
Sultan Saif, 30 years old from Turkey, has been horse riding for two years: as a little boy he used to dream of becoming an athlete and of horse riding. Sultan has 24 brothers and sisters. He worked hard to improve and he thanks God (and himself!) for his success so far. He likes Greece a lot and also appreciates Greek hospitality.

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