News Local Greek Olympian sexual abuse revelations open floodgates

Greek Olympian sexual abuse revelations open floodgates

 

More high profile Greek athletes have come forward with sexual abuse and harassment claims by Greek sport authorities officials, following the shocking revelations by sailing Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou who said she suffered abuse in the hands of a high ranking member of the Greek Sailing Federation, who remains in his position to this day.

Bekatorou’s experience has caused widespread outrage across Greece and Cyprus, in a wave of support to the Olympic champion who found the courage to break the silence of sexual abuse victims and speak out about the traumatic event that has marked her life.

In calling out the abusers, the former Olympic Champion revealed the enormous burden she was carrying for decades, causing her massive emotional and mental stress.

In spite of initial efforts by the Greek Sailing Federation to downgrade and even trivialise the charges, with no sympathy for the huge strength she took to come forward, social reaction is forcing them to conduct an in depth investigation of the case, siding with Bekatorou and any other athlete who’s been a victim of sexual abuse.

Since Bekatorou spoke, four other high profile Greek athletes have come forward with their own sexual abuse experiences, including sailing champions Mania Bikoff, Rabea Iatridou, Marina Psychogiou and high jump 1996 Olympic silver medallist Niki Bakoyianni, who all recounted how they were approached by officials.

It is believed that there are dozens of cases of Greek athletes, high profile or otherwise who were forced into sexual abuse by sport officials, cases that have been talked about behind closed doors for decades.

Greek Olympic and world champions are standing by Bekatorou, including Olympic gold weightlifting medalist Pyrrhos Dimas, who said she was an example to follow, encouraging everyone who’s suffered sexual abuse to come forward.

‘Light hurts the eyes, but can snuff out the darkness’ Dimas said.

The Federation of Greek Olympic Champions has expressed its support to Sophia Bekatorou, calling out abusers during the internet event ‘Break the Silence-Speak out’.

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