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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Greek boy's letter to Roger Federer wins gold

17.07.2012 - Talking about the Olympic spirit came easy for Greece’s Marios Chatzidimou, 14. His letter to tennis champion Roger Federer captured the hearts of the international jury to win the gold medal in the UPU’s 41st International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.

 Marios Chatzidimou is a big fan of Roger Federer

The 2012 edition asked young people to write a letter to an athlete or sports personality they admire to tell them what the Olympic Games mean to them.
Kenya takes home the silver medal, while Ukraine and Trinidad and Tobago tie for the bronze.
In a brilliantly written letter, Chatzidimou places the world’s top-seeded tennis player in in ancient Olympia alongside athletes such as Diagoras of Rhodes and Polidamas and creates a dialogue with him. “Participation, entering the contest, is already a great victory, regardless of the trophy. A victory against fears, insecurity and difficulties, of yourself, against your own vanity and selfishness.” That’s how Chatzidimou has Federer describe the Olympic values to him. Chatzidimou criticizes the sometimes absence of fair play and the use of drugs in modern-day competitions, adding: “But for me the first Olympic Games mean neither anabolic [steroids] nor championship, nor financial benefits, economic crisis nor hate. They do mean joy for participating, fair play, friendship, peace and, I hope, this meaning will apply to this year’s Olympic Games.”
The jury complimented his simple and creative writing style. “The composition is original, very personal and stylistically creative. The modern and historic Olympic values come out very strongly,” it said.
Kenya’s Valentine Chimba, 15, takes the silver medal with a letter to her countryman, runner David Rudisha, who holds the 800-meters world record. Ukraine’s Aliona Kuchanskaya, 15, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Chelsea Gabriella Ellise Mangarro, 11, tied for bronze with letters to Elena Yurkovskaya, a Ukrainian skier and biathlete who won several medals at the Winter Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy, and Hasely Crawford, the first Trinidadian to become an Olympic gold-medalist in 1976.

Special Mentions

The jury also awarded special mentions to the compositions from other countries, in the following order: Russia (Ms Anastasiya Tolcheva), Brazil (Ms Joyce Lima Moreno), Indonesia (Mr Christ Soselisa), Benin (Ms Auriane Hillarie Hountogan) et Montenegro (Mr Bojan Savovic).
More than one million young people from 55 countries participated in the UPU’s 41st International Letter-Writing Competition.
The 2013 competition asks young people to write a letter to someone to tell them why water is precious. The theme coincides with the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005–2015.
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