Thessaloniki, via its numerous sports clubs, promotes the eternal sporting spirit and organizes championships, games and tournaments both in national and international levels, while many top athletes have succeeded and marked top scores due to the city’s infrastructures. Among the international sport events hosted in Thessaloniki over the last years are the European Taekwondo Championships I.T.F. 2016, the World Rowing Coastal Championships 2014 and the World Maxibasketball Championship 2013. Thessaloniki also hosted the football games at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Moreover, you’ll find an Olympic Museum here, licensed by the International Olympic Committee, while Thessaloniki is one of the cities that the Olympic Torch Relay passes through, after the ceremonial Lighting of the Olympic Flame in Olympia. Thessaloniki has featured many remarkable athletes with international distinctions, Olympic champions such as,
- Voula Patoulidou (gold medal 100m hurdles – Barcelona 1992) she’s currently Vice Governor of the Metropolitan Area of Thessaloniki and Head of Thessaloniki Tourism Organization.
- Dimosthenes Tampakos (gold medal in gymnastics – Athens 2004, silver medal in gymnastics – Sydney 2000)
- Ioannis Melissanidis (gold medal in gymnastics – Atlanta 1996)
- Tasoula Kelesidou (silver medal in disc – Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000)
- Alexandros Nikolaidis (silver medal in Taekwondo – Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008)
- Ioanna Hatziioannou (bronze medal in weight-lifting – Sydney 2000)
and Paraolympic champions such as
Haralampos Taiganidis, Andreas Katsaros, Simos Paltsanitidis, Maria Kalpakidou, Parashos Stoyiannidis, Antonis Yiapountzis.
Finally, Thessaloniki is the starting point of Vasilis Hatzipanagis, a top Greek footballer who took part in the WORLD XI in 1984, and Nikos Galis, the best basketball player in the history of Greek basketball, who won the Mr. Europa Player prize of the Year in 1987.
Museums, games, activities, fields await you in Thessaloniki to bring out your deeper athletic inner self!