Greek-Americans Will Represent Greece in Olympics; Team Needs Your Help

BREAKING NEWS: The two-man bobsleigh team of John-Andrew Kambanis and John Livaditis from Chicago have successfully qualified for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. At the America Cup held in Lake Placid, N.Y. held on December 9th and 10th, the team placed fifth during the second race. Jamaica led, followed by the U.S., Japan and Mexico. Kambanis and Livaditis will represent Greece. Below is an appeal sent out by Chris J. Mellas, Order of AHEPA, Governor, District 20. For more information, visit the AHEPA District 20 website at

The Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City are rapidly approaching and I have tremendous news for all Greek Americans. Recently I was visiting our AHEPA Salt Lake Chapter and was informed that 2 young men, John-Andrew Kambanis and John Livaditis, from Chicago are in the process of qualifying for the Olympics on the Bobsleigh to represent Greece. This is nothing new since they made it to Nagano Japan in 1998. As of this writing the Greek Bobsleigh Team needs 2 more points to qualify with 3 races left in Lake Placid, New York on December 9th and 10th. 

My sad news is that due to current policy the Greek Ski Federation and the Hellenic Ice Sports Federation do not fund athletes abroad. These young men have been working hard to qualify, have credit cards at maximum capacity and the engine on their trailer-towing vehicle blew up on the way to Canada 2 weeks ago (now renting). In spite of all of this they still finished 5th on Monday, November 26 and 6th on Tuesday November 27th for a total of 46 points.

I am requesting that this information be sent far and wide throughout your community. We cannot sit by while Greek Americans are trying to perpetuate the Hellenic Olympic Sprit go unsupported. During opening ceremonies Friday night February 8th will you be watching the Greek athletes take their rightful place leading the Parade of Nations? If so, your heart could burst with pride knowing that you did everything possible to make the Olympic dream come true for the Greek Olympic Two-Man Bobsleigh Team.

Operation Bobsleigh is a call to all Hellenes and Philhellenes in the in the greater New England area. Here's how you can help. Listed below are items that they need sponsors for. If you cannot find anyone who can participate to this extent the team does have items for sale at The AHEPA District 20 website will continue to be updated with information as we move forward,

Greek Olympic Two-Man Bobsleigh Team Wish List

1. Collector's Team Poster Production $3,000 (500 prints) view the poster online.

2. Collector's Olympic Team Pin $3.50 per pin (1000 minimum) would like to make 2002 pins ($7,007).

3. Team vehicle (pick-up or something that can tow the trailer)

4. Team winter jackets and pants $2500 (for team, coaches, and sponsor(s))

5. Team fleece jackets 20 at $35 each $700 (for team, coaches, and sponsor(s))

6. Team speed suits 2 at $250 each = $500 for race

7. Re-paint sled for Olympics $800-1000 (includes fiberglass touch-up)

8. Art application onto painted sled (photos on Olympic sled program) $1500

9. $500 minimum donation and your corporate logo can appear on our trailer at the Olympics, with photo provided.

10. Coaching costs $700/week * 11 weeks = $7700

11. Sled shipment to SLC $1000 one way (entire season $7,000).

12. Team T-shirts $2000 for 300

13. Team golf shirts $4000 for 200 (only if we find a sponsor)

14. Sponsor the entire Greek Olympic Two-Man Bobsleigh Team $60,000.

On behalf of the team,
Chris J. Mellas
Order of AHEPA District 20

Greek Prime Minister to Visit United States

Dec. 12 --The Greek government on Wednesday announced that Simitis would officially visit the United States in January.

According to a government spokesman in Athens, the exact dates for the visit and an agenda of talks will be determined via diplomatic channels.

Spokesman Christos Protopapas said US President George W. Bush has extended an invitation to Simitis to visit Washington, while talks are expected to focus on both bilateral relations and issues of international concern.

Asked if Jan. 9 and 10 are envisioned as the most likely dates for Simitis' visit, Protopapas said those dates were proposed by the US side. (Athens News Agency)

Cyprus Talks to Begin Jan .16

Dec. 12 -- Direct talks on the Cyprus problem will begin on Jan. 16, 2002, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan announced to the Security Council through a letter made public on Wednesday.

According to the letter that was sent to the president of the Security Council on Monday, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot Community leader Rauf Denktash agreed to begin direct talks at the invitation of Annan on Jan. 16.

"I have the pleasure in informing you that Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash have agreed to begin talks at my invitation in the exercise of my mission of good offices. These talks will start on 16 January 2002," Annan's letter said.

"The agreement is a positive development and I would like to hope that, as they have agreed they will negotiate in good faith until they achieve a comprehensive settlement," he concluded.

President Clerides had a face-to-face meeting on Dec. 4, at the residence of the United Nations Chief of Mission and in the presence of Alvaro de Soto, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Cyprus. (ANA)

ATHOC President briefs IOC Coordinating Committee on Athens 2004 Olympics

Dec. 11 -- Athens 2004 Olympic Organising Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki in Lausanne on Tuesday briefed the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordinating Committee on the progress of projects in preparation for the Athens 2004 Games.

In statements after her briefing, Daskalaki reiterated that "not even one day should be wasted" and noted that all the agencies involved in the preparations should further intensify their efforts with the objective of Athens securing the hosting of a unique Olympic Games "which will send the message of modern Greece to all the world."

In a general review of the preparations during the past six months, Daskalaki presented ATHOC's budget which she said amounted to 1.96 billion euro, 80 per cent of which has already been secured through relevant contracts.

According to ATHOC sources, IOC President Jacques Rogge and other senior IOC officials have expressed satisfaction on the progress achieved so far in preparation for the Games. (ANA)

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