Greece’s National Deaf Women's Basketball Team was received on Tuesday at the Presidential Mansion by the President Prokopios Pavlopoulos.
The President paid tribute to the team following their gold medal win at the World Championship in Lublin, Poland.
"You have shown that the power of the Greek soul, which knows how to overcome all sorts of natural or other obstacles, allows Greece to transcend its borders and radiate worldwide," Pavlopoulos told team coach Athena Zervas and her fellow athletes.
During the welcoming ceremony the President gave the players and members of the technical team a commemorative gift from the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic and emphasised that "today's meeting gives me the opportunity to give you, on behalf of the State, what you so deserve, not only for your level of athletic performance but, above all, for the way of life you represent for our society in general and youth in particular."
Also present was Deputy Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis who expressed "a big 'thank you' to the team for "honouring Greece, honouring sports and making us all proud."
The team’s coach Athena Zervas said that "this team didn't get this far by accident (...) we started in 2011 with a lot of problems to overcome, concerning accommodation, tickets or even food (...) but we endured because we dreamed 'scary dreams' (...) we didn't play handicapped basketball, we didn't play deaf basketball (...) the love I have received, and the recognition will accompany us for life," she concluded.