Greece is famous for being the nation that founded and staged the first ever Olympic games in 776BC and ever since then sport has been important to the Greek people. The country has achieved some spectacular sporting achievements in recent years with the national football team winning the European Championship title in 2004. Greek athletes may have underperformed at London 2012 but the country has a long and proud legacy of producing successful sportsmen and women. Aside from Football being the most popular sport in the country we take a look at some of the other major sports in the country.
Greece is considered one of the top basketball nations in the world being ranked 4th in the International Basketball federation’s (FIBA) world rankings. The national team has won a number of medals at the Olympic Games including Gold in 1987. Greece holds the world record for the largest attendance for a basketball game in history standing at a whopping 120,000 spectators. The HEBA 1 league is the top tier for club basketball in Greece and several Greek clubs have won international club competitions, the most successful being Panathinaikos. The club is considered one of the most of the most successful teams in the world having won six Euro league titles. Nikos Galis is still regarded as one of the best basketball players in history.
Greece is often considered a powerhouse in weightlifting and many Greek weightlifters have regularly won championships including a number of Olympic medals, six have been gold’s. In the World weightlifting championships Greece has won over 111medals with 26 of them being gold’s. Greek weightlifters have set many world and Olympic records and in the mid 90’s the Greek team was nicknamed the ‘Dream team’.
Water polo is a team water sport and sees two teams of seven players Greece is often regarded as an international powerhouse in the sport of water polo with its clubs and national side winning honours and trophies in several international competitions. The Greek water polo leagues are considered some of the best in Europe for both men and women. The women’s national team won a gold medal in the 2011 World Aquatic championships and silver medals in the 2004 Olympic Games, 2010 European championships and 2012 European Championships. The biggest club is Olympiacos who have won a number of European titles.