Wreath Presentation

Consul General Symeon Tegos presents golden olive wreath to BAA Chairman Dr. Michael O'Leary and BAA President Jack Fleming

At the Annual Boston Marathon Wreath Ceremony, held at the Consulate General of Greece in Boston and cosponsored by the Alpha Omega Council of Boston, Consul General Symeon Tegos presented four olive branch wreaths from Greece to the Boston Athletic Association, which will be used to crown the winners of Monday's 127th running of the Boston Marathon.

"I am honored to present these four gold wreaths, cut from the plains of Marathon, as a gift from Greece. These wreaths connect Greece with the Boston Marathon and ideals of democracy and peace," said Tegos.

"It is an honor for us to be here at the Boston Marathon Wreath Ceremony," said BAA Chairman Dr. Michael O'Leary. "Boston is the Athens of America. This describes our cultural and intellectual traditions and our legacy of democracy."

Also present at the ceremony were Meb Keflezghi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon and Olympic Medalist. Meb spoke of reuniting with his father in Athens, Greece, after his family fled war in Eritria. The family then moved to the United States. Meb spoke of his special connection with Greece and how proud he was to be wrapped in the American flag after winning the Boston Marathon and then being crowned with a golden olive wreath from Greece.

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangilides spoke of his experience running the Boston Marathon and thanked the Consul General reminding all of the Boston Marathon's connection to Greece.

The Wreath Ceremony was established 40 years ago, when the Republic of Greece and the Boston Athletic Association formally established the Wreath Ceremony, in which the Greek people gift the wreaths to the BAA.

Today's Wreath presentation was cosponsored by the Consulate General of Greece in Boston and the Alpha Omega Council of Boston, a Greek-American organization cultivating the ideals of Hellenism by uniting Americans of Hellenic descent and Philhellenes through philanthropy and fellowship. "The Marathon is a time when the connection between our countries shines brightest," said Alpha Omega President Paul Tsitsopoulos. "I am very proud that we have been able to keep these beautiful traditions alive and help remind all of the Boston Marathon's roots in Ancient Greece."

The wreaths are offered in the name of Stylianos Kyriakides, a true humanitarian, patriot, and marathon champion. His 1946 Boston Marathon victory, over renowned marathoner Johnny Kelley, is still considered one of the most memorable in Boston Marathon history.  After his victory, Kyriakides toured the United States, raising funds and medical supplies for his countrymen who were suffering from the aftermath of WWII and their heroic resistance to Nazism. Upon returning home to Athens, he was met in the streets by a million people.

The Boston Marathon will take place Monday, April 17, 2023.

Contact Information:
Symeon Tegos
Consulate General of Greece in Boston
[email protected]

Paul Tsitsopoulos
Alpha Omega President
[email protected]

Peter Lemonias
Committee Chair
[email protected]

Original Source: Consul General of Greece Presents Wreaths to Boston Athletic Association for Boston Marathon Winners
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