Hail, oh hail humanity!

Hail, oh hail humanity!

The struggle at sea has always been tough and relentless. During my 35-year struggle, there were many times I was told I was not going to make it. I’ve heard the word “no” countless times. But I’ve always been stubborn and my deep belief that I’m going to make it despite adversity ultimately helped me achieve my endeavors.

Every race goes through phases. You never know exactly what’s going to happen: Sometimes you have to improvise, sometimes you have to wait, and sometimes you have to step up and fight like there’s no tomorrow, as our ancestors did, who fought against the odds for freedom.

This is what I cherish about 1821: the courage, the perseverance, the passion, the generosity and the strength of soul of those Greeks. These same virtues can form the basis that our country will build its future on. Together, we can improve how our society functions to highlight human rights and the value they hold.

Both individually and together we have a voice: in sport, in science, in culture and in the arts. Together, we will create better conditions, for today and for the next generations, so that as we celebrate over the next 200 years, there will be a visible line of communication, a line as visible as the torch of the Olympic Games. Let us keep the flame of the truce alive, deterring divisions. Let us strengthen our team spirit, as we did with the Greek #ΜeΤoo movement. We’ve moved on together. Not just to win, but to be proud of what we’ve achieved and of the road we’ve traveled.

Sofia Bekatorou is an Olympic, World, European and national sailing champion.

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