Olympic weightlifting champion Pyrros Dimas is stranded in Athens and won’t be able to return home to Chicago for at least a month, after Trump announced travel restrictions amid coronavirus threat.
On Tuesday Dimas, the technical director for USA Weightlifting, flew to Europe for meetings of the sport’s international federation.
Under the US travel restrictions for more than two dozen European countries announced by President Donald Trump on Wednesday, the Greek sports hero’s visa makes him ineligible to return.
Dimas’ visa — granted to individuals possessing “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics” — was not among the exceptions announced as part of the restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Olympic weightlifting champion made the announcement on Thursday evening, when he said he would not be able to return back home to his family in Chicago until mid-April. Until then, he will remain in Athens, Greece.
With four Olympic medals – three gold and one bronze – Dimas is tied for Greece’s most decorated Olympian and is regarded as the best weightlifter of all-time.