The entire city of Drama in northern Greece came out to greet “their girl,” Anna Korakaki, the native f the northern Greek city who brought home two Olympic medals in shooting— a bronze and a gold.
Koraraki, as well as her father and coach Tassos, weren’t shy about their feelings towards the government and even asked that no politicians be present at the celebrations.
In a public feud that has spilled into social media and newspapers, Tassos Korakakis slammed the local Drama mayor’s office for demolishing the shooting range where his daughter trained.
“I want to celebrate with those who have supported me,” Korakaki told news cameras that had gathered to welcome her home.
Her bitterness towards government agencies isn’t directed only to the local administration of her hometown. In an interview with Kathimerini, she said that the Greek Olympic Federation didn’t even offer her official uniforms to compete in international competitions and she had to often buy her own blue shirts and sew the Greek flag on it, so she could proudly wear her national colors, she said.
“The government must support athletes before we succeed on our own and win medals. We need infrastructure to succeed. When they all appear afterwards, it really doesn’t have meaning,” Korakaki said in the interview.
During the welcome celebrations she paused to greet a group of Syrian refugees who were also on hand to welcome her home. The refugees are being hosted in shelters in her hometown.
A touching photo of her holding a refugee child made its way throughout the Greek internet and went viral.
Korakaki received a wreath upon her arrival and an old fashioned celebration complete with music and dance— and only “her people” who helped her along the way.