A project by the Hellenic Cultural Foundation
for the 2004 Athens Olympic

Artist’s conception of “KYKLOS – Circle of Glory” by Euripides “ Rip” Kastaris. The installation will be the focal point at the VIP Reception Center where heads of state and dignitaries convene next summer. After the Games, KYKLOS will remain as an ongoing tribute to Olympic history and the 2004 Homecoming.

HFC Chairman Nicholas Karakas, Artist Rip Kastaris and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Singular Honorary Chairman.
St. Louis, MO – Costantinos Cartalis, Secretary General of the Olympic Games for the Hellenic Ministry of Culture has officially endorsed a new agreement to enthusiastically accept the “KYKLOS-Circle of Glory” Monument into the preeminent stadium of the 2004 Olympic Games,” announced Nicholas Karakas, Chairman of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation. The commitment came at the end of a four-year international effort to find an honored, secure and historic venue.

KYKLOS is a “Michelangelo like” panoramic fresco, epic in size and meaning. It is a symbolic gift representing the Hellenic ethos of a world community united in spirit to celebrate their heritage on the occasion of the 2004 homecoming of the 28th Olympiad. Next to the mural, an engraved circular sculpture honors the many international donors on bronze, silver and gold olive leaves.

Founded by the St. Louis Missouri based Hellenic Cultural Foundation, the project boasts the support and participation of national and international Hellenic organizations and individuals.

Athens Olympic Stadium “Spyros Louis” will be the site of the historic Olympic Opening Ceremonies on August 13, 2004.
Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America is the Singular Honorary Chairman. Achieving the status of National Project for the AHEPA Family and Philoptochos Organization, along with garnering support from key members of Leadership 100, KYKLOS has succeeded in unifying Hellenes and Philhellenes the world over who feel momentous pride as the Olympic Games return to their ancestral birthplace.

"It is fitting that the KYKLOS project be placed at the stadium named after the Marathon Champion who brought glory to Greece 108 years ago at the debut of themodern Games,” said Chairman Karakas. It gives us a feeling of exhilaration that the location aptly reflects the symbolism and Hellenism that KYKLOS aims to convey," he added.

Through the dedicated assistance of Thomas Miller, US Ambassador to Greece and his staff, Hellenic Cultural Foundation representatives and AHEPA officers met with Greek officials to lay the groundwork for a collaborative international effort. Follow up trips to Greece allowed Foundation directors and Ministry officials to review Olympic sites and explore extensive placement studies that culminated in an agreement for permanent installation.

Kastaris and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios,Singular Honorary Chairman. Thomas Miller, US Ambassador to Greece holding KYKLOS. Beside him is Dr. James F. Dimitriou, former Supreme President of AHEPA.
“Once we viewed the magnificent artwork and considered placement options in Athens, Mr. Cartalis felt the VIP area of Olympic Stadium was the perfect setting to display a gift of such great meaning” stated Chryssa Kokkini, International Consultant for the Ministry of Culture. She further expressed the Ministry’s gratitude for the dedication and cooperation of the Hellenic Cultural Foundation over the last four years that ultimately led to the official placement agreement.

“When the Olympic Flame finally returns to Athens next summer, KYKLOS will be there representing the pride rekindled in hearts around the world”

Costantinos Cartalis, Secretary General for the Olympic Games with Artist, Rip Kastaris and International Consultant to the Ministry, Chryssa Kokkini on July 22 at the signing.

Where Does the Circle Start?

The project began in late 1998 in Saint Louis when a committed group of Greek-Americans formed the Hellenic Cultural Foundation with the intention of creating an international Olympic

Costantinos Cartalis, Secretary General for the Olympic Games with Artist, Rip Kastaris and International Consultant to the Ministry, Chryssa
Kokkini on July 22 at the signing
tribute in Athens. Similar to the Statue of Liberty, Kyklos would be symbolic of excellence and achievement and like Ellis Island; it would provide a place where Hellenes could honor the names of family members and organizations.

KYKLOS was ratified as a National AHEPA project during the 1999 San Diego convention. In early 2001 Archbishop Demetrios accepted the position as Singular Honorary Chairman and the National Philoptochos awarde sponsorship soon after.

In 2001 Athens International Airport became the proposed location for the installation in Greece, but new airport security measures stemming from events of September 11 redirected the project. In 2002 the General Secretariat of the Olympic games, US Embassy and Hellenic Cultural Foundation began working together to place the tribute on Olympic Grounds, which ultimately led to placement at Spyros Louis Athens Olympic Stadium.

The Board of Directors meet in Saint Louis at a recent council meeting.
Who’s Behind the Vision?

Board members contributing to the success of KYKLOS consist of a group of civic leaders with long histories of cultural and community service.

Chairman Nicholas Karakas also led the effort that established the Hellenic Chair at the University of Missouri, St. Louis and is involved in numerous civic and religious societies. Other board members include Sam Nakis, Vice Chairman and past AHEPA Supreme President, Leon Spanos, a founder of the AHEPA Housing Corporation, Basil Pappas, CPA, Byron Smirniotis, past District 15 Governor, Jason Pulos, past Chapter 395 President, Chrysoula Tomaras, National Philoptochos board member, Peter Katsinas, CEO of Katsinas Construction and Steven Chalmers, the Foundation’s Executive Promotions Director. Out-of-town board members include Johnny Economy, past Supreme President, Bill Marianes, past Supreme Counselor and Tim Maniatis, former AHEPA Executive Director.

Names of families and organizations from throughout the world will be permanently honored in the “Circle of Glory” next to the Olympic Mural.

Advisors to the board include Ahepan and Registered Professional Engineer, George Chiagouris providing technical consultation. Lastly, a key consultant and benefactor to the organization is Executive Financial Advisor, Dr. Nicholas Vidalakis, former member of the Archdiocesan Council, Hellenic College / Holy Cross School of Theology Board of Trustees and a founding member of Leadership 100.

Artist and Creative Director for the KYKLOS Project is Euripides “Rip” Kastaris, two-time official artist for the United States Olympic Committee and Graduate of the Washington University School of Fine Arts. “It’s a thrill to be part of Olympic history in Athens, and an honor to represent the good will of so many people around the world,” Kastaris articulated.

Born in Greece and son of a Greek Orthodox priest, Kastaris brings an authentic experience and vision to the international tribute. AHEPAN of the Year in 2002 for his home chapter, he consistently contributes his talents to his community at the local as well as national levels.

Bob Costas, Primetime Host for NBC coverage of the 2002 Salt Lake and 2004 Athens Olympic Games holds up the official Greek Bobsled Poster by Rip Kastaris.
Who's in the Circle of Glory?

Names from all over the world will be immortalized on olive leaves of peace within the Circle of Glory sculpture. Contributions from the international community provide the funds to develop, install and maintain KYKLOS.

The Nicholas and Nancy Vidalakis Family Foundation made a major contribution honoring the name of Archbishop Demetrios and coordinated Gold Leaf inscriptions in the names of Fr. Alexander Karloutsos of Leadership 100 and Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Dean of HC / HC School of Theology.

Names of families and organizations from throughout the world will be permanently honored in the “Circle of Glory” next to the Olympic Mural.

Those interested in finding out more about KYKLOS or how they may participate with their family or organization can get information on the web at or by calling 1+314-457-9640.