Olympians in Our Midst
Two students from the Jamaica Day School of St. Demetrios competed in the 8th annual Mathitiada Olympic Games in Serres, Greece, held May 6-13.
Eighth grader Pantellis Zioulis, 14, and seventh grader John Ades, 12, were accompanied to the games by Evthoxia Panos, supervisor of the school's Greek department. This is the fourth year the school has brought students to compete in the games, Panos says, and it is the only school in the United States that participates.
This year, more than 1,000 students of Greek descent from 35 countries around the world competed in the games. Each school had a booth where they represented their country or region. The Jamaica Day School represented both New York and the U.S., and its booth was decorated with pictures of the state, essays and poems written by the school's students, and drawings of famous sites in New York.
The athletes, all aged between 12 and 15, competed in 34 Olympic events and 14 Special Olympic events. Zioulis and Ades competed in a wide range of events, including target shooting, swimming, badminton, soccer, basketball, field hockey, and a triathlon. Zioulis and a team of students from several different countries won the gold medal in the field hockey event.
"It was a wonderful experience for me and my students," Panos says. "I would like to encourage more students who are of Greek descent in the United States to please consider taking part in this excellent program in the future."
For more information on the games and how to get your school involved, visit www.mathitiada.com.