Gym Championship Fund Cut Victim

first_imgATHENS – With the budget for athletics cut in half, the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation has canceled the upcoming national championships, leaving its top stars shocked that a centerpiece of the Olympics and Greek sports had been set aside.“All I can say is that everything seems to go from bad to worse,” rings specialist Eleftherios Petrounias told Greek media. “We didn’t even know the basics. Seriously we didn’t ever expect that we wouldn’t even have the chance to compete at the Greek championships, even traveling at our own expense.”The federation cancelled the event after the Greek Olympic Committee urged a boycott of all national sports competition from April 12-13, to protest the Greek government’s actions amid the nation’s ongoing financial crisis, International Gymnast magazine noted“The council of the Greek Olympic Committee decided unanimously to recommend to all amateur sports federations in the country that they suspend all competitive activities for the weekend of April 12-13, due to the huge problems Greek sports continue to undergo after the consistent refusal of the government to provide solutions not only to economic issues, but mainly to institutional problems,” the Greek Olympic Committee announced on its website“The recommendation for the suspension is a first measure … to protest the continued inaction and indifference shown by the government toward the country’s youth, who risk being deprived of important social services, such as sports.”The 2014 Greek Gymnastics Championships were to take place April 12-13 in Thessaloniki, where hundreds of gymnasts were to compete at multiple levels. The event was supposed to serve as a qualifier for next month’s European championships in neighboring Bulgaria.Following the announcement from the Greek Olympic Committee, the board of the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation held an emergency meeting on April 1 and decided to join the boycott.“With this decision, the board of the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation hopes to finally wake up minds, that state agencies need to take action and provide solutions to the enormous economic and institutional problems in Greek sports,” the federation said in a statement.The 2010 world floor exercise champion Eleftherios Kosmidis said the decisions of both governing bodies have left the athletes to suffer.“Everyone is to blame,” Kosmidis said. “It starts with the sports leadership and ultimately the athletes pay the price. Everybody is at fault.”TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

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