Memories - 2016

Please note that these are only a small representative sample of the photographs in our archives. We welcome visitors who would like to bring a USB “stick”, go through our electronic archives, and copy out any photographs they would like to take home with them.

We have not been able to identify all participants. If you recognize any unidentified participant, we would appreciate your help to replace the question marks with their names.

1 On June 11, 2016, 1,279 participants from 40 different countries came to run in the Sixth Nemead and to receive commemorative pins and shirts with this year’s symbol of the revived games. These numbers represent more participants than in previous years (in 2012 there were 1,018 runners), but from fewer foreign countries (2012 = 87 countries), surely a reflection of global economic and political instabilities. Nonetheless, the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games was justly proud of the Sixth Nemead, including a record number of volunteers who have learned their roles well.

2 Preparations included visits to the Alternate Minister for Economics, Development and Tourism, Elena Kountoura, which was organized by MP Christas Dimas, the newest member of the Society’s Honorary Committee. In the Minister’s office on February 24 were George Kostouros, Mr. Dimas, Minister Kountoura, Maria Christara, and Spyros Kyriakos (the last two vice-president and president of the Board of Directors, respectively).
Such visits resulted in good local publicity which clearly increased the Greek participation in the Sixth Nemead.

3 On May 8 dozens of volunteers, mostly from Nemea, but also representing Argos, Athens, and Corinth, gathered in the city hall of Nemea for a briefing about jobs to be done, and their schedule. This organization, critical to the success of the Sixth Nemead, was the result of efforts by George Nikitakos with assistance from George Kostouros.

4 On May 28 there was the first of two successive Saturday sweepings of the ancient track, removing especially pebbles in anticipation of bare-foot “ancient” runners.

5 A part of the sweeping crew on May 28. Note that the altar is missing its symbols of past Nemeads. Those were stolen after the Fifth Nemead.

6 Volunteer Steve de Laet from California glued new symbols in place on June 1. Lacking more “professional” support while the glue dried, he used himself.

7 On June 4, after the second sweeping day, the locker room tent was spread and holes and tears repaired.

8 The following Monday it was time to prepare the locker room (apodyterion) with protective scaffolding. As has become traditional, the effort was led by the father-and-son team, Kostas and Yannis Nakis.

9 The Nakis family was soon joined by other volunteers and the scaffolding grew apace.

10 The familiar tent, now repaired, is in place for the games.

11 A special part of the Sixth Nemead was that H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, accept our invitation to proclaim the start of the games on June 10. This provided the City of Nemea with the opportunity to proclaim an honorary citizen. Here the Mayor of Nemea, Kostas Kalantzis (in the red tie), welcomes the president and Mrs. Sissy Pavlopoulou to the City Hall of Nemea, watched by the Minister to the Prime Minister, Honorable Terence Quick.

12 Inside the City Hall, the President greeted people, including the Society’s newest member of the Honorary Committee, Corinthian MP Christos Dimas.

13 Those in attendance including another member of the Society’s Board, Nikos Papadopoulos and his wife Ioannoula (right of center, bald and blonde).

14 Also present for this ceremony were former Society President, Stephen G. Miller, Secretary Nikos Fenerlis, and current President Spyros Kyriakos.

15 Mayor Kalantzis presents H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, with the decree awarding him Honorary Citizenship in Nemea.

16 On this day, June 10, starting at about 11 a.m., a tremendous thunderstorm soaked Nemea and made entry to the stadium impossible. Fortunately the area around the temple could still be used, and the crowd gathered there for the opening ceremonies.

17 The Historic Choir of the Attorney’s Association of Athens sang “O Esteemed Visitors” by George Kostouros.

18 Volunteers formed a human chain to allow the distinguished visitors to find their seats.

19 President Pavlopoulos greets Deputy Director-General of the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, Mr. Jens Nymand Christensen.

20 The fire at the Altar of Zeus is guarded by Slave Vassilis Christaras, and mastigophoroi Kyriakos Chrysakes and Aison Sakellares.

21 Society President Spyros Kyriakos welcomes the crowd.

22 The crowd.

23 Mayor Kostas Kalantzis greets the crowd.

24 Panayiota Kassimi speaks on behalf of the Corinth Ephoreia of Antiquities.

25 Deputy Director-General of the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission, Mr. Jens Nymand Christensen, adds an international flavor.

26 “Nemea” (Theoni Tseliou) approaches with the assistance of the Guide (Yiannis Katsabas).

27 “Nemea” is crowned by “Ekecheiria” (“truce” Marina Kaïtsa) watched by the Guide and three “spondophoroi” (“truce-bearers”: Yiannis Kyriakos, Christos Sellas, Panos Papagianakopoulos).

28 “Nemea” approaches the Altar of Zeus to light her torch with the assistance of a “mastigopohoros” (George Nikitakos).

29 “Nemea” with the torch and accompanied by “Ekecheiria” set out for the stadium to light the altar there (the lighting will be delayed until the next day by the flooded track – see #16)

30 The Flame with “Nemea” and Ekecheiria” pass a column of the Temple of Zeus and pause . . .

31 . . . while soprano Jelena Jovanovic-Bakopoulou sings an “Ode to Nemea” . . .

32 . . . and while President Pavlopoulos proclaims the start of the Sixth Nemead from the steps of the temple.

33 The procession of the flame continues with an honor guard of the Lyceum of the Hellenic Women of Kiato.

34 Again, volunteers form a human chain to allow the distinguished guests to proceed.

35 Society President Spyros Kyriakos presents to President Pavlopoulos members of the Board of Directors of the Society: (from the left) George Nikitakos, George Kostouros, Yiannis Flessas, Yiannis Nakis, Nikos Fenerlis.

36 The presidential group now receives a tour of the archaeological museum by its founder, Professor Stephen G. Miller.

37 A surprise visitor is Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge, former Ambassador of France to Greece and a judge at the Fifth Nemead who will play the same role again tomorrow.

38 Society President Spyros Kyriakos and Vice-President Maria Christara present a commemorative plaque to President Pavlopoulos.

39 A runner – the same as on our symbol, #1 – is surrounded by a wreath of wild celery. This metallic runner is the creation of John Ilnicki, father and grandfather of two winners in the Sixth Nemead (#71 and #80).

40 President Pavlopoulos enjoys a parting joke with Mayor Kalantzis, Spyros Kyriakos, Effie Davlantes-Miller, Stephen Miller, Maria Christara and Yiannis Flessas. Note that Mrs. Miller and President Pavlopoulos are the god-parents of Mrs. Miller’s nephew, Valerios Tsournos.

41 Saturday, June 11: everything is ready for the races, except the muddy track. There is a two-hour delay to the start, and Slave Michael Skoupas waits.

42 There is a screening process at the gate so that only those who have registered by the deadline may enter the apodyterion.

43 Once inside the gate, each runner is given a large paper bag to store shoes and clothes. Each is also given three self-adhesive stickers with name, entry number, and nationality. One of these goes onto the list of twelve runners in each race and is given to the herald-guide, the second is applied to the bag, and the third to the front of the runner after the chiton has been put on.

44 Next the runners await instructions from the herald-guide of each group. In this case that is Nemea veteran Marina Skombi-Anagnostopoulou.

45 But the first races are delayed while the track dries. The runners wait.

46 Inside the apodyterion slave Yiannis Frousios waits to help the runners prepare.

47 Hellanodikes (judge) Angelos Gatsinos looks for sandals to fit.

48 Finally it is decided that the track can be used and the first group assembles at the tunnel entrance to the stadium. Guide-herald Vangelis Grivakis explains the situation to the runners Andreas Potamianos, Giannis Thol, and George Papoulias while, on the left, judges Panayiotes Papadopoulos and Vasilis Papaioannou also listen.

49 Trumpeter Kostas Lambropoulos has sounded the fanfare for the audience to pay attention to the introduction of the runners by Guide-herald Vangelis Grivakis, while mastigophoros George Nikitakos is ready to “encourage” people to be quiet and listen.

50 Seventy-seven year old Robert Frank from the USA is among the first out onto the track.

51 Judge Haris Kyriakos holds the helmet with lots to be drawn for lane assignments.

52 The first group is at the line with supervision from slaves Vangelis Panopoulos, Christos Karyotis and Ioannes Bakasetas, judges Dimitris Demopoulos and George Andrianakos, and mastigophoros George Nikitakos. The runner in the first lane, partly hidden by Bakasetas, will be the winner.

53 The winner of the first race of the Sixth Nemead is 71 year old Robert John Horne from the UK. He has received his tokens of victory (ribbon and palm branch) from the judge Georgios Kapetanos while Herald-Guide Vangelis Grivakis marks his name on his runners’ list (aka papyrus scroll).

54 Race #3 at mid-point led by the eventual winner Alfred Rhodes of the UK as Ioannis Flessas (center-right) pulls a muscle in the mud.

55 Runners in race #4 at the starting line include two previous Nemean victors, Tony Diamantidis with black knee brace and Steve Ping, tallest at right of picture.

56 The race 4 runners with Diamantidis winning again. The group flanked by judge Georgios Kapetanos and slave Kostas Krasopoulakos and, behind in blue, herald-guide Dionysios Grivas.

57 Race 6 at midpoint.

58 Race 9 is a photo-finish between ______??_______ and Nemean local Kostas Frousios.

59 Veteran starter (aphetes) Antonios Kalkounias still at work.

60 Race 10 was won by Alakwisa Abraham Phiri of Zambia. At the left end is Mark Lambert, alumnus of the University of California and husband and father of two winners in the Sixth Nemead (#71 and 80), while another California student, Yiannis Lolos, is the fourth visible head from the right. Also in the second row and next to Lambert is Nikos Lygeros, one of the 50 smartest people in the world.

61 Now another veteran volunteer, George Kakouros, takes on the job of aphetes (starter).

62 Slaves Christos Karyotes and George Bakasetas make adjustments to the hysplex (starting machine).

63 The winner of race #17, Sameera Wijayagunaratne from Sri Lanka, flanked by judges Panayiotes Bastounes (left), Chyrsanthos Kouroupes and Demetrios Angelou.

64 George Nikitakos and Apostolos Delis attempt to repair the rain-damaged track surface. They did this several times during the day.

65 Race #21 was won by Christian Saleh Hajj from Lebanon who defeated, among others, the director of the Society office, Athanasios Schoinochoritis (right).

66 The participants in Race #41 swear the oath at the entrance to the tunnel. The second lady is Anne Buchanan, member of the Nemea Excavation staff in 2000 and participant in the Second Nemead.

67 Trumpeter Alexandros Avgeris signals entrance of Race #41 participants into the stadium.

68 Participants in Race 42: Judge Potheini Skopelitou, _____?_____, Anne Buchanan, Maria Stergiou (?), Stavroula Chroni, _____?_____, Panagoula Kozioti, _____?_____, co-victor Dianne de Laet, Maria Georgiou, Kostoula Katsafara, Christina Karavatsou, co-victor Anna Anagnostopoulou, judges Maria Kyriakou and _____?_____

69 Herald Christina Yiannakaki has announced the name of the victor in Race #44 – Barbara Niklinska behind the victory palm – and the participants applaud.

70 Participants in Race 48: Judge Marianika Papaioannou, Jennifer Flannery, _____?_____, judge Potheini Skopelitou, _____?_____, _____?_____, judge Maria Kanellopoulou, herald Georgia Spanoriga, _____?_____, victor Maria Kontaxi (also victor in the Fifth Nemead), judge Maria Kyriakou, Theodora Klangkou, Aikaterini Stypa, Basileia Christou, Anastasia Christou.

71 Participants in Race 49: Jadwiga Wegrzyn-Stamatakis, Angeliki Kostourou, herald Christina Yiannakaki, victor Kelly Ilnicki (member of excavations staff 1994, victor in Second Nemead, mother of another victor in Sixth Nemead #80), Eleni Opsimou, _____?_____, Argyro Pateloudi, _____?_____, Vasiliki Baklessi.

72 Anastasia Gkika falls in Race 50.

73 Theodora Klangkou signs the grafitto wall picture in the locker room, while judge Vasiliki Georgiou prepares for her duties.

74 Despoina Floka (winner of Race 68) and Theofano Dimopoulou (Race 69) wash their feet in the apodyterion with slaves Stavroula Panopoulou-Naki and Marina Naki in attendance.

75 Slave Polyxeni Demetriou hands out fresh chitons to new runners in the locker room.

76 Participants in Race 52: Judges Potheini Skopelitou and Maria Kanellopoulou, _____?_____, Demetra Potsika, Katerina Chavea (?), Sophia Tasinopoulou, _____?_____, victor Eleni Karabatsou, Judge Maria Kyriakou, Chrysa Katsanou (?), Antigone Theodorou, _____?_____, _____?_____, Eleni Daskaloyianni (?), judges _____?_____ and Marianika Papaioannou.

77 Father and daughter Nemean winners, Tony (#56) and Mary Diamantidis with slave Stephen Miller.

78 Race 60 at the apheteria with slave Gkolpho Angele (?). In the third lane from the left is the eventual victor Veera Vastamaeki of Finland.

79 Herald Athena Anagnostopoulou leads Race 62 through tunnel followed by Athanasia Papademetriou, Maria Zaimi, and others.

80 The winner of Race 65, Luci Lambert (daughter of Kelly Ilnicki, winner of race 49 #71 and granddaughter of the creator of the metallic Nemea runner, #39), receives victory ribbon from judge Panagoula Schoinochoriti.

81 First to cross the finish line in Race 76 is Athena Patoura, as indicated by judges Panagoula Schoinochoriti and Barbara Geraga.

82 Judge Mina Gatsinou holds the lane-lot helmet for Race 77.

83 Participants in Race 98: Charilaos Denekos, Todor Savic, Giorgos Papademetriou, Giorgos Panagopoulos, herald Georgia Spanoriga, Pavle Rakic, Giorgos Nanouris, Christos Pappas, Victor Thomas Ebenezer Johannes Koos Rozenburg of the Netherlands, judge Georgios Kapetanos, Thomas Orfanopoulos, Spyros Dozes, Ioannes Sklavenites, judge Ιωάννης Καπουράλος, Kevin Stefanjer.

84 At the finish line of Race 103 Panayiotes Malakos beats Demetris Theodorakos by a step.

85 Participants in Race 104: Theodoros Katopodes, judge Georgia Papaioannou, Konstantinos Kanellos, Konstantinos Kareklas, judge Yiannis Kyriakos, Spyros Theodorou, Demetrios Antonopoulos, herald Eudoxia Kanellopoulou, Βασίλης Καλαράς, judge Efstathia Panagopoulou, Victor Joshua Chen from the USA, _____?_____, Philippos Karageorgos, Emerson Chen, judge Marianthi Platsi, Vasilis Basileiou, Faruq Admiral.

86 Race 107 at mid-point watched by the Alternate Minister for Tourism, Elena Kountoura, in blue behind Society Vice-President Maria Christara in red shirt and sun-glasses.

87 Participants in Race 107: Maria Christara, mastigophoros Georgios Nikitakos, Romanos Gkougkoulias (?), judge Marianthi Platsi, Nikitas Arsoulik, judges Georgia Papaioannou and Yiannis Kyriakos, Demetrios Bakasetas, Vasileios Zaimes, Alternate Minister for Tourism Elena Kountoura, Demetris Violantes, Georgios Papadopoulos, _____?______, herald Panos Papayiannakopoulos, victor Vasilis Chanias, _____?_____, _____?_____, Giorgios Gastouniotis (?), Georgios Karnasiotes (?) judge Thanasis Diamantopoulos.

87 Participants in Race 107: Maria Christara, mastigophoros Georgios Nikitakos, Romanos Gkougkoulias (?), judge Marianthi Platsi, Nikitas Arsoulik, judges Georgia Papaioannou and Yiannis Kyriakos, Demetrios Bakasetas, Vasileios Zaimes, Alternate Minister for Tourism Elena Kountoura, Demetris Violantes, Georgios Papadopoulos, _____?______, herald Panos Papayiannakopoulos, victor Vasilis Chanias, _____?_____, _____?_____, Giorgios Gastouniotis (?), Georgios Karnasiotes (?) judge Thanasis Diamantopoulos.

89 Table outside entrance to stadium for late registration for “Footsteps of Herakles” runners: _____?_____, Eleni Bekiari, Rita Roussos, Demetris Bakasetas.

90 Judge Ioannes Theodosiou, President of the Community of Ancient Kleonai, stands on the wall of the ancient Temple of Herakles and administers the oath to the runners in the Footsteps race.

91 Nearly 400 registered runners – and dozens more who joined without registering – are off through the vineyards and up the hill to the town of Kleonai, and then to the stadium of Nemea.

92 The first three runners have entered the Nemea stadium: Pavlos Tzanavaras, Abdalla Tannous (victor in the Fifth Nemead), and Athanasios Karsiotes.

93 The officials for the closing ceremonies enter the stadium led by Heralds Dionysios Grivas and Nikos Fenerlis.

94 Judges for the closing ceremonies and the countries they represent: Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge (France), Volodymyr Shkurov (Ukraine), John Kittmer (U.K.), Jan Bondy (Czech Republic), Elias Clis (Greece), Lucian Fătu (Romania), John Admiral (Indonesia).

95 Alternate Minister for Tourism, Elena Kountoura, is thanked by Society President Spyros Kyriakos for her speech.

96 Vassilis Fourlis, President of “Opheltes – the Friend of Nemea” and husband of two time Nemean victor Maria Kontaxi (#70) speaks to the crowd at the closing ceremonies.

97 Stalwart, Yiannis Nakis (#8), addresses the crowd on behalf of the Society.

98 The participants in the races, already clad in commemorative shirts, now are awarded commemorative pins by the judges.

99 The pin for the Sixth Nemead of 2016.

100 French Ambassador Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge, who played the same role at the Fifth Nemead, awards the final victory token – the wild celery crown – to Eleni Karabatsou.

101 Eleftherios Geitonas, head of the Geitonas School, crowns Konstantinos Papaioannou.

102 The judges now extinguish the flame on the altar with earth.

103 Herald Nikos Fenerlis reads the “Prayer to Nemean Earth” to which the flame of the games has been entrusted.

104 Trumpeter Anastasios Flokas signals the end of the Sixth Nemead.

105 Flokas is echoed from the rim of the stadium by Giorgos Tassinopoulos.

106 Some of the people who made the Sixth Nemead a success.