19-year-old Paralympic champion Nikos Papagelis, who is the only one-legged cycling athlete in Greece had his 7,000 euro specially designed bike stolen from a beach in Lagonissi, Athens.
As it is a special bicycle designed with only a right pedal and can’t be used by many people, authorities assume that the bandits’ goal is to disassemble the bike and to sell separate parts of it.
Nikos is set to participate in the Paralympic Games of 2020 and the theft of the bike created a major obstacle, as it is very expensive to buy it again.
“For me, this bike is my life and without it, I can’t go to Tokyo,” he said, speaking to Star television.
“The bike is useless for others and it only works for people with one leg. I’ll even pay a fee to help me find it, “said Nikos.
Although the bike has not been found, an anonymous man who heard about the incident offered to cover the whole amount to purchase Nick a new bike that is even better than the one he had.
“He did it simply because he wants to help me and see me do my best in Tokyo. In a little while I will have the best equipment to continue my preparation for the Paralympic Games!”
“I am deeply excited and very happy and I can not say anything … beyond a huge THANK YOU. I will try even harder, for this person, who I don’t even know, however, he has helped me through this difficult time. I pray that one day I have the opportunity to offer something in return to him.”