Greeks get fit on back of Olympics, Euro win

Greece’s success at the Euro 2004 soccer championship in Portugal along with the Athens Olympic Games have encouraged Greeks to get off the couch and onto the sports field, medical experts said yesterday. The president of the Sports Medicine Association of Greece, Constantinos Natsis, said that the number of Greeks exercising after the two international sports events has risen by 15 percent to four in 10 people. The increase in athletic activity has also been accompanied by a higher rate of sports injuries and, in some cases, even death, Natsis added. Despite the rise in exercise levels, the country still ranks fourth to last among the list of European Union countries whose populations exercise most. Sports injuries are most common while playing soccer and basketball, data showed.