A city like Patras with a long history of at least four millennia could not fail to have a huge sporting tradition.
From antiquity and the games recorded in the chronicles of Pausanias, to the rebirth of the Greek state and the modern era, Patra bears the title of the city of sports.
In ancient times the city sent athletes to the Olympic Games, while during the Roman period it organized the famous Caesarea. Sports activity is recorded both in the Byzantine period and in the years of Ottoman slavery. But the first organized and substantial movements after the creation of the new Greek kingdom and the organization of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 are directly connected with the foundation of Panachaki.
From the time of Christos Korylos until today, we have had the creation of great teams that left and still leave their indelible mark on the country’s sporting events.
The historic Nautical Club of Patras, the team of championships and major awards in polo and swimming, the Cycling Club of Patras and nowadays, the Olympiad with the important course today in athletics and in the past in basketball and volleyball, the men’s basketball team of Apollo Patras with top athlete the “Nureyev” of Greek basketball, Kosta Petropoulos, the NEP who got to play in the Len Trophy for men and women, the men’s volleyball team of EAP with impressive marches in Europe, the football teams of Patras and Thyella Patras and Prometheus who stars in basketball in Greece and Europe, having created a sports center that is among the best in the world.
To the above teams, add the Ormis Lux women’s handball team that swept the titles for 10 years in our country, but which unfortunately disbanded during the financial crisis.
Of course, special mention should be made of the great football team of Panachaiki, which in the mid-1970s faced Panathinaikos, Olympiakos and AEK, having in its ranks Vassilis Stravopodis and the late Petros Levendakos, Themi Rigas, Costas Davourlis and Andreas Michalopoulos.
Patra is a city with excellent performances in classical sports, but also in boxing, with pan-Hellenic and international awards, while it is also a producer of talents who compete in our national teams in a number of sports. More typical cases are Kostas Katsouranis in football, our Olympic champions Christodoulos Kolombos and Angeliki Gerolimou in polo, our swimmers Nora Drakou and Kristel Vournas, Lambros Vassilopoulos in cycling, Nikos Roumeliotis in volleyball, etc.
Not to mention the paternal factors who managed sports federations, such as Vangelis Liolios in the EEC, Vassilis Diamantopoulos in the Cycling Federation, Dimitris Dimitropoulos of EGO, the naturalized paternal late Vassilis Sevastis in SEGAS, Tasos Chrysanthopoulos in the Archery Federation etc.
As far as classical sports are concerned, Patras is par excellence the city of athletics and running, having brought forth forms and forms. Undoubtedly, Spyros Andriopoulos is the “totem” of classical sports in the region, being one of the leading Greek runners of all time and holder of the Panhellenic record in the 10,000m. in the Marathon and Half Marathon. We could also not mention Maria Polyzou, holder of the Panhellenic record in the Marathon, but also in the classical route, Balkan runner and ambassador of Greek sports. These two top runners have represented our city and our country at the Atlanta Olympics, as has the younger Sofia Riga at the Rio Olympics. The great marathon runner and Balkan champion Nikos Argyropoulos, the late Fanis Tsimigatos, who held the pan-Hellenic record in the classic route from 1984 to 1998, and also the champion in the 200m in athletics, also stand out. Giorgos Panagiotopoulos, the high jump champion Antonia Stergiou et al.
What is certain, in any case, is that the city has a great sporting heritage as a whole, it has many modern field facilities, experienced players and coaches and thousands of talented sportsmen and women. As you can see, the future belongs to her!