Olympic Games: Antetokounmpo’s Flag Post and Drisbioti’s Emotions – Check Out The Social Media Post

Two weeks from the start of the Olympic Games in Paris, the world’s premier sporting event where the greatest athletes meet every four years, aiming for the highest distinction.

The Greek delegation traditionally enters first in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games as a tribute to its history. The role of the flag bearer is significant, and each year there is a special process to decide who will hold it. The Plenary Assembly of the Hellenic Olympic Committee decided in its session yesterday that the flag bearers for Greece at the Opening Ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be Giannis Antetokounmpo and Antigoni Drisbioti, succeeding Lefteris Petrounias and Anna Korakaki, who held the role in 2021 in Tokyo.

Regarding the choice of the two flag bearers, the President of the HOC, Spyros Capralos, said that the decision was made “according to the recommendation of the International Olympic Committee, following the spirit of the times and striving for gender equality.”

Notably, the Hellenic Olympic Committee had contacts with Olympians who had won medals before the meeting, but both Miltos Tentoglou and Katerina Stefanidi requested not to be flag bearers to avoid disrupting their preparation schedules for the Olympic Games.

Antetokounmpo Makes History and Fears the Evil Eye

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s selection is historic as he is the first basketball player to be a flag bearer at the Olympic Games. His successes on both team and individual levels in the NBA make him a global ambassador for Greek sports. Even his nickname, Greek Freak, often places him in the “Olympus” of world basketball.

Even after nearly a decade abroad, Greek customs and traditions still hold a special place in his heart. Following the news of being selected as the flag bearer for the Greek Olympic team in Paris, his first post featured a captivating video showcasing his memorable moments from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament at SEF. In his post, Giannis included the word “HELLAS” along with a blue eye emoji, traditionally believed to ward off bad luck. This gesture hints at Antetokounmpo’s possible concerns about averting any jinxes following his remarkable performances with the Greek National Team and in anticipation of his upcoming participation in the Olympic Games.

He eagerly anticipates July 26th and the opening ceremony as when Spyros Capralos informed him in the locker rooms of the Peace and Friendship Stadium (after the match with Croatia) that he would be the flag bearer, the Greek Freak reacted like a child, celebrating despite his great physical exhaustion.

Drisbioti Leaves the Discus for the Flag

Antigoni Drisbioti’s story is also unique as she will be the other flag bearer at the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony. Many were unaware of her before her significant European and global successes starting in 2023. She has struggled for years to reach the top level, moving beyond her family’s taverna in Karditsa. Now, she is the most beloved woman in her city, and even the municipal stadium is named after her. At 40, she is ready to travel to Paris to add an Olympic medal to her extensive collection.

She secured her qualification impressively. At the Australian 20km Race Walking Championship in Melbourne, she finished second with a time of 1 hour 28.12. This is the qualifying standard for the Paris Olympic Games and a new national record, surpassing Athina Papayianni’s 1.28.58 from the Athens Olympics.

Unlike Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was unanimously selected in the first vote, Antigoni Drisbioti received 16 votes to win over Maria Sakkari, who had 8, with other candidates including water polo player Margarita Plevritou and synchronized swimmer Eleftheria Platanioti.

Antigoni Drisbioti commented on the EOC’s decision with an Instagram post on Wednesday morning (07/10), expressing pride and emotion for the decision.

Her Message Reads:

“The E.O.C.’s decision to appoint me along with Giannis Antetokounmpo as the flag bearer of the Greek delegation at the Olympic Games in Paris fills me with emotion and pride. For every athlete, holding their country’s flag at the opening ceremony of the world’s greatest sporting event is the highest honor.

Such moments make the dreams, expectations, efforts, and struggles of a lifetime dedicated to sports flash quickly through the mind, but the demands of preparation soon ground you in the days ahead.

In Paris, all the members of the Greek Olympic delegation will do our utmost to once again raise the Greek colors high.”

Flag Bearers’ Biographies

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo was born in Athens on December 6, 1994. The 2.11m tall Greek international basketball player started his career with Filathlitikos. In 2013, he was drafted 15th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, where he has played since. He has become one of the NBA’s top players and a key member of the Greek National Team, with over 49 appearances.

In 2017, he became the first player in NBA history to finish in the top 20 in all five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks). He was named Most Improved Player and participated in his first All-Star Game that year. Overall, he has appeared in the All-Star Game six times.

In 2019 and 2020, the Bucks’ leader was named NBA MVP. In 2021, Giannis, known as the Greek Freak, led the Bucks to their first NBA title in 50 years, winning the Finals MVP award. He is included in the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team.

Antigoni Drisbioti

Antigoni Drisbioti was born in Karditsa on March 21, 1984. She lives and trains there, except for the last two years (2023-2024), dividing her time between Greece and Australia. She has competed with the National Team in international competitions at all levels. She took a break from race walking and elite sports, but returned stronger, achieving success after success.

She has participated in two Olympic Games (2016, 2021), World and European Championships, won a bronze medal at the 2013 Mediterranean Games, gold at the 2021 European Team Championships, and a silver in team scoring at both the 2022 World and 2021 European Championships. She placed eighth at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics. In 2022, she won two gold medals (20 km and 35 km race walking) at the Munich European Championships, a first for any Greek athlete. Earlier in the season, she finished fourth at the World Championships in Oregon.

Antigoni holds a degree in Physical Education and Sport Science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Management for Disabled Athletes at the University of the Peloponnese.

Greek Flag Bearers Through History

  • 1908: Nikolaos Georgantas, Athletics
  • 1912: Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Athletics
  • 1920: Vasilis Zarkadis, Fencing
  • 1924: Christos Vrettos, Athletics
  • 1928: Antonis Karyofyllis, Athletics
  • 1932: Christos Mantikas, Athletics
  • 1936: Ioannis Seraidaris, Athletics
  • 1948: Giorgos Kalambokidis, Sailing
  • 1952: Nikos Syllas, Athletics
  • 1956: Giorgos Roubanis, Athletics
  • 1960: Crown Prince Konstantinos, Sailing
  • 1964: Giorgos Marsellos, Athletics
  • 1968: Christos Papanikolaou, Athletics
  • 1972: Christos Papanikolaou, Athletics
  • 1976: Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, Athletics
  • 1980: Ilias Hatzipavlis, Sailing
  • 1984: Stelios Mygiakis, Wrestling
  • 1988: Babis Holidis, Wrestling
  • 1992: Lambros Papakostas, Athletics
  • 1996: Pyrros Dimas, Weightlifting
  • 2000: Nikos Kaklamanakis, Sailing
  • 2004: Pyrros Dimas, Weightlifting
  • 2008: Ilias Iliadis, Judo
  • 2012: Alexandros Nikolaidis, Taekwondo
  • 2016: Sofia Bekatorou, Sailing
  • 2020: Anna Korakaki, Shooting
  • 2020: Lefteris Petrounias, Gymnastics

Athletics has produced the most flag bearers with 13, followed by sailing with five, wrestling and weightlifting with two each, and fencing, judo, taekwondo, gymnastics, and shooting with one each.

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