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GRE/GREECE 

In 1952, after Greeceís first international match against France, in which they were defeated 3-1, a French newspaper article praised the Greek teamís spirit and capability. These particular elements in conjunction with later developments in the sport in Greece, have provided a basis, on which the Greek team can depend on in order to outdo themselves in their first Olympic Games participation.

Seventeen years after the achievement of Gent (European Championship bronze medal), 10 years after their sixth place in the World Championship held in Athens, and only two years after their seventh place at the same event in Argentina, Greeceís team appear ready to face the challenge of the Olympic Games. Having achieved some admirable results leading up to the Olympic Games and displaying plenty of skill and exuberance along the way, Greece will be giving their all at the 2004 Summer Games in order to prove they are capable of claiming a medal on their home courts.

It was a physical education instructor from Athens, Anastasios Lefkadites, who was the first to teach Volleyball in Greece in 1922. Greece was quick to affiliate itself with the FIVB, just two years after its founding in 1947 and in 1949 the country joined the sportís governing body.

Greece joined the elite teams in the World League in 1993 and have since participated in nine editions of the competition.

Today Greece continues to exhibit top qualities. Despite the early start, a systematic development of the sport in the country had to wait until the foundation of the Hellenic Volleyball Federation in 1970.

Team coach Stelios Prosalikas will be counting on inspirational captain Marios Giourdas, on heavy hitters Andrej Kravarik
and Theodoros Baev, Vassilis Kournetas, Konstantinos
Christofidelis, Antonis Tsakiropoulos and Sotiris Pantaleon of Greek champions Panathinaikos.