“I am very happy that in Thessaloniki there is now a Center for the World Confederation of Sports for our athletes”, said the president of FIMS, prof. Fabio Pigozzi, at the ceremony designating the Interbalkan Medical Center of Thessaloniki as a collaborating Centre. FIMS (International Federation of Sports Medicine), based in Geneva, is the official consultant of the International Olympic Committee.
The importance of an organized Sports Center for an athlete, was described from experience at the event, by the two-time Olympic champion, Alexandros Nikolaidis: “Without the help offered to me by the Interbalkan Medical Center and personally the President of the Athens Medical Group, Dr. C. Apostolopoulos and the sports medicine physician S. Galitsanos, I would not have participated four times at the Olympic Games”, he said. He added, addressing the president of the FIMS: “In my view, the FIMS made the best choice with the Interbalkan Medical Center. This will save many careers at the games.”
This opinion was also adopted in his description from experience by veteran footballer Petros Passalis: “After a very serious injury, thanks to the recovery I made at the Interbalkan Medical Center I managed to continue for another 6 years at a high level, to have my feet strong and to exercise until today”.
At the proclamation event of the Interbalkan Medical Center of Thessaloníki as a partner to the World Confederation of Sports, the FIMS was represented by its chairman, Fabio Pigozzi, the board members, Tzouaou Paulo Di Almeida and Constantinos Natsis as well as the scientific manager and head of the Reference Centre for Anti-Doping research of FIMS, prof. John Pitsiladis.
The official guests were welcomed by the Chief Operating Officer of Athens Medical Group and General Manager of the Medical Interbalkan Mr.. Basil Bardis, stressed that the largest private Group of healthcare provision in Greece, “is the largest medical sponsor of sports associations in the country”. He welcomed the cooperation with FIMS, stressing that the World Confederation chose one of the best hospitals, the Interbalkan Medical Center, to represent it in Southeast Europe.
In his reply, the president of FIMS, professor Fabio Pigozzi, underlined that the goal for the creation of 22 cooperating Sports Centers on four continents and the specialized Anti - Doping Center in Great Britain, is to ensure the health of international athletes, with emphasis on providing training for the young, so they remain “clean”. Also, Mr. Pigozzi announced that the Thessaloniki member of the Board of the FIMS, prof. AUTH Constantinos Natsis, was selected by the FIMS as head of it’s world congress, which will be held in 2020 in Athens.
Welcoming the event, Professor of Brighton, John Pitsililadis, expressed his joy for the genuine emotions shown by the athletes at the event and stressed that the major issue to be addressed, is the difficult problem of doping that destroys sport.
The head of the Sports Center at the Interbalkan Medical Center and president of the Sports Medicine Association of Greece, doctor Simos Galitsanos, held a guided tour for all of the facilities of the Center which has been trusted for 20 years by Olympic champions, athletes and teams, and also “fanatic” groups from throughout N. Greece.
The event was honored by the leaders of many football, basketball and volleyball clubs in Thessaloniki and Macedonia.