Disabled athletes set for long swim
A team of five Greek athletes with disabilities are all set to swim from the southernmost point of Attica, which is Cape Sounion, to the island of Milos, which is located at a distance of 145 kilometers from that point. Due to weather and sea conditions, the swimmers might, in fact have to swim a distance of up to 160 to 170 kilometers, instead.
The team, which also includes the double gold medalist at Sydney Paralympics, Costas Fykas, consists of four other athletes who will be accompanied by two swimming coaches as well as support team, which will follow them in dinghy.
The swimmers will make stops at the islands Kythnos, Serifos, Sifnos and Kimolos before finally reaching Milos. They plan to cover the entire distance in a span of five days, and will begin swimming early morning, which will continue till late into the night. All the five swimmers have full trunk control, and only lack one limb, in the least. No artificial limbs or any other swimming aids will be used during the entire event.
Titled Aegeathlon, a word which means a great achievement, as it is derived from the word athlos, the event is an initiative to bring about awareness about the potential of Paralympics athletes, as well as their achievements. Supported by the Athens 2004 Organizing committee for the Paralympics as well as Olympic games, the event is being organized a year before the Paralympic Games of 2004, which are to be hosted in Athens. Aegeathlon is also a way to promote the beauty and richness of the Aegean and all the islands located on it.