Greek athletes need jobs to get to London

August 5, 2011

It has emerged that Greek athletes will have to achieve their own funding as public funding has been slashed, apoplectic forcing some athletes to quit the Olympic dream.

The country is in the third year of a recession and sport is paying the price. Funds to the Greek Olympic Committee for 2009-2012 were cut to US$11.3 million, health under a quarter of what it was four years ago, Hellenic Olympics Committee President Spyros Capralos said.

The financial crisis in Greece can relate back to their very holding of the games in 2004. The country spent more than $US15.5 billion in hosting the event, double its initial budget.

“This is a time of unprecedented fiscal effort and we have to cut funding all around,” Prime Minister George Papandreou told the Greek Cabinet on July 26.

“State funding is down but in the situation the country is in, it would be provocative for it not to be,” said Antonios Dimitrakopoulos, president of the Hellenic Sailing Federation.