The European Champions in the Patriarchy

The European Champions visited the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Vartholomeos just before returning to Greece.

The European Champions visited the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Vartholomeos just before returning to Greece.

Dusan Ivkovic and his players visited his Holiness just like they had also done on October 3, at the beginning of the season, but this time they also carried with them the valuable trophy that goes with the best team in Europe.

Mr. Constantine Angelopoulos and the owners of Olympiacos BC, Mr. Panagiotis and Mr. Giorgos Angelopoulos welcomed Dusan Ivkovic and his players at the entrance of the Patriarchy and they all together walked to the Throne Chambers were His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch received them and addressed the European Champions with the following blessing: “ I wish to express my sincere and profound joy, the joy of Mother Church and of the Ecumenical Patriarchy for your great achievement, making Olympiacos and Greece the Champions of Europe. You have fought hard until the last moment, till the final seconds, as I was informed. This gives us a great life lesson, and not only for basketball. We have to fight with will and vigor till the last moments of a game, an endeavor. We shouldn’t put down our weapons despite the difficulties that are ahead of us. This is the lesson that Greece needs in general these days, in order to surpass the crisis and the harness we all endure, during this time and especially following the elections of May 5. It takes effort, good will, fighting spirit, till each one of us achieves what is desired. Olympiacos deserves to be congratulated; you have made us feel proud facing the global sporting community. It’s a success of Olympiacos, a success for Greece, a success of the sporting ideal. We wish to congratulate you from the bottom of our hearts and wish that in the future both Olympiacos and Greece in general to always enjoy moments like these, achievements that bring courage and smiles to the Greek people, especially at a time when smile is needed.

Of course, when someone gives a fight, I always stress that when I receive athletes, one may lose. One should not despair, get disappointed but instead, one should hope that next time they will win. Two days ago, the fans of Galatasaray celebrated winning the Turkish championship, now you, all of us, celebrate Olympiacos’ triumph and we receive you with a feeling of great pride, enthusiasm, joy and with many sympathetic and patriarchal blessings for all those you keep as visions in your life, because you are young people and you love to compete. Holy God is going to be by your side to help you materialize.
We are all happy that Olympiacos has won this triumph, this victory, under the presidency, the leadership of the Angelopoulos family, which, as I was saying yesterday, in this same place, has eternally adjusted her name with the life and history of the Ecumenical Patriarchy, since this is the family that has given us this Patriarchal House that hosts you right now. We are never going to forget the great beneficence of the Angelopoulos family due to which we have acquired a decent house.
We had been without a proper residence after the ’41 fires. This lasted for about half a century. We had not had the license of the Turkish authorities to rebuilt our house, and should we had gotten it earlier, it is doubtful we would have the means to build it. God made such plans, so when we got the license, he sent the father Angelopoulos, the late Panagiotis, whom we always have up here and we see and we feel grateful to, who consulted and worked together with his wife, the late mistress Helene, with his two sons and they all together decided without any difficulty whatsoever, to proceed with this great donation to the Ecumenical Patriarchy. We launched the Patriarchy in December of 1989, and after the completion of 20 years’ time, I suggested to the Summit and we performed a memoriam for the late Great Benefactor Panagiotis, and we wanted through this memoriam, twenty years after the inauguration of the Patriarchal House to once again express our gratitude. These grateful feelings are following you Mr. Constantine Angelopoulos, dearest, and your beloved children, Panagiotis and Giorgos and we are always going to be grateful both for the Patriarchal House and for this great joy and pride. By means of that, I wish to thank you for the great books you have been sending us each time you come across a good book at the Athens publishing houses.

I wish to especially congratulate the coach because your efforts have not been wasted. And to all of you together and to each one of you in particular I extend my warmest congratulations and wish you all the more success”.

Next, Mr. Constantine Angelopoulos thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for the fact that he changed his schedule to receive the visit of the “red” delegation: “We would like to thank you, for your kind words and for changing your schedule to receive Olympiacos and the kids that have put in such an effort, and succeeded a great triumph”.

It was the end of the '30s when the Olympiacos Basketball team was founded with players form the "Ionidio" School. Great personalities of Greek basketball wore the 'red' shirt, coaches wrote history, victories came and Olympiacos played a leading role inside and outside the Greek borders.
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