Our Athletes

Giorgos Papadopoulos Transformed a Fear Into a Passion


The very first time Giorgos Papadopoulos saw a swimming pool was at the age of 5. He was afraid of the water and never imagined becoming a swimmer. Giorgos, who is now 40, has become a very successful Special Olympics Hellas (Greece) swimmer.

“Every time he gets in the pool he feels free. He believes in himself in a way his family never expected. He found a big family, with many people cheering for him through Special Olympics" his coach Tasos Nikitas said. He has won numerous medals in his hometown of Thessaloniki but also in regional and global Special Olympics competitions.

This summer, Giorgos had a unique opportunity to join other Special Olympics Hellas athletes and unified partners to swim across the Corinth Canal in Athens. Athletes and Unified Partners made up of Olympics Champions took to the water in teams with each athlete swimming 1 km. The atmosphere was amazing: all swimmers were thrilled and honored to be a part of this big sport event. They felt the power of unified!