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Athletes bios

Mariana Batsalia

Mariana was born in Athens in 1984. Today she is a student of the Charokopeion University of Athens, specializing in food and dieting.

Mariana first took part in a competition at the age of eight. Since 1999, she is a member of the Greek National swimming team for athletes with a disability. She has taken part in several international competitions and has gained a 6th place at 100 m breaststroke in Germany and the 1999 European Swimming Championship and a 7th place at 100 m butterfly at the 2001 European Championships in Sweden .

Mariana was a member of the Greek Paralympic team in Sydney 2000 and gained a 14th place at 100m breaststroke.

Mariana has completed the marathon open sea swimming of 11 km at the Maliakos Bay in Lamia , Greece .

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Giannis Chatzibeis

Giannis was born in Athens in 1968. He is a graduate of the University of Piraeus , specialized in sales and marketing and also holds a Master's degree in Sport Management from the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS). During his stay in Sydney , Giannis worked for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and the Paralympic Games Sydney 2000. He also worked as Section Manager for the Marketing - Sponsoring department of the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games Athens 2004, focusing on Paralympic Games sponsoring.

Today, Giannis is a business development advisor, focusing on promoting health, sports and health-related sponsorships.

Giannis was a member of the Greek national Paralympic team between 1992 and 2002. He has competed in European and world championships, gaining a 6th place for Greece at the World Swimming Championship for people with a disability in New Zealand , 1998 in 100m butterfly style, and was a member of the Greek Paralympic team in Atlanta 1996. He holds the national record for Greece in 100m butterfly style and 50m freestyle for his class. Giannis is the first Greek swimmer with a disability who completed the marathon open sea swimming of 26 km at Toronaios, Chalkidiki (Greece).

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Konstantinos Marios Fykas

Konstantinos was born in Athens in 1981 and is currently a med student at the University of Athens.

Konstantinos started swimming at the age of five, and soon enough he demonstrated his talent and capabilities. He was only 16 years old in 1996, when he won a silver medal for Greece in 50m freestyle at the Atlanta Paralympic Games, thus becoming the youngest Greek Paralympian winning a medal. Four years later, in Sydney 2000, he won two gold medals in 50 and 100m freestyle, class S8, breaking four times the world record in those events.

Needless to say, he was won multiple medals in European and world championships, among which the most important ones are: three gold medals and one bronze medal at the 1998 World Championship in New Zealand , and a silver medal at the 2002 World Championships in Argentina .

Konstantinos is also an experienced open water swimmer, having completed the marathon open sea swimming of 11 km at the Maliakos Bay in Lamia, Greece.

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Sakis Kostaris

Sakis was born in Germany in 1972. He holds both a first and a postgraduate degree in Communications & Mass Media from the University of Athens , as well as a Master's degree in Sport Management from the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS). During his stay in Sydney , Sakis worked for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 and also competed as a member of the Greek national team in the Paralympic Games of Sydney 2000 in the 100m backstroke style, gaining the 12th place in the competition. He also worked for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games Athens 2004 as a communications specialist and continues to distinguish himself as a swimmer and, recently, as a sitting volleyball player.

His most important distinctions in swimming also include holding of the national record for Greece in 100m backstroke, 100m & 400m freestyle in his class. He has participated in numerous World and European Championships. He has completed the marathon open sea swimming of 26 km at Toronaios, Chalkidiki (Greece), and the Maliakos Bay of 11 km in Lamia, Greece.

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Nikos Paterakis

Nikos was born in Athens in 1968. He works for the Hellenic Electricity Company (DEI), while he studies in Panteion University of Athens.

Nikos has engaged himself in swimming. He has gained several national and international distinctions in 100m breaststroke style: 7th place in world swimming championship for athletes with a disability (Malta 1994), 6th place in European swimming championship for athletes with a disability (Spain 1997 and Germany 1999), 3rd place in the Mediterranean Games of France 1993 in 100m freestyle. In the last 14 years, Nikos is a golden, silver and bronze medalist for Greece in 200m composite style, 100m breaststroke style, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly style and 50m freestyle for athletes with a disability. As an open sea swimmer, he has completed the marathon open sea swimming of 26 km at Toronaios, Chalkidiki (Greece) and the Maliakos Bay of 11 km in Lamia, Greece.

Nikos has recently taken on sitting volleyball and is a member of the Greek Paralympic team.

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George Mathas

George Mathas, father of two and trainer in Thessaloniki, Greece, is a graduate from the Physical Education Department of the University of Athens, Greece in 1989 and holds a Master's degree from the University of Leuven, Belgium.


George specializes in coaching athletes with a disability. Many of his athletes have won international distinctions. As a coach, he has taken part in several international meetings and championships. Since 1983, he is a distinguished open sea swimmer. In 1998, he became the first Greek to officially swim across the English Channel (La Manche), and he was awarded the title of the best athlete of the year for this achievement a year later.

His accomplishments in open sea swimming also include: 10 times completion of the marathon open sea swimming of 26 km at Toroneos, Chalkidiki (Greece), crossing of the Zurich Lake, swimming around Manhattan , swimming around Stary Grand Island in the Adriatic Sea, the Lake Widemer in the north of England and other long distance open air swimming championships.

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Petros Tsialas

Petros was born in Athens in 1969.He graduated from the Physical Education Department of the University of Athens, Greece, specializing in the sport of swimming and went on to follow a Master course in Business Administration (MBA) in Henley Brunnet University, UK (Distance Learning Programme, 1999).

His involvement with the sport of aquatics started very early as an athlete and in 1982 he became member of the Greek national team of swimming, in which he occupied an important place until 1994. Petros was holding the national record in 400m - 1500m free style for 9 years, winning several distinctions in national and international competitions.

In 1999, he decided to continue his studies, following a Master Course, in Sport Management in the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS), as a scholar of the Greek State . During his stay in Sydney he worked for the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Sydney 2000. He also worked as a member of the Competition Management Team of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Athens 2004 and remains a great fun of swimming. Today he works for the organisation of the 2006 Asiatic Games in Quatar.

As an athlete he participated in a series of competitions, while he has attended the European Swimming Championships, 1991, the European Championships Special Olympics, 1997, the World Water Polo Cup, 1999, the World Diving Championships, 1999, the World Swimming Championship (25m), 2000. He speaks fluent Greek and English.

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