Boston Marathon Wreath Ceremony Reminds of Greek History

Every year the Alpha Omega Council, a Philhellenes (meaning “love of Greece”) Organization based in Boston, puts on what they call a Wreath Ceremony, in which an official from the Greek government hands over the official wreaths, traditionally given to the winner of Greek Athletic events as far back as the ancient Olympics. The event is well attended by various lovers of both the Boston Marathon and of Greek history, with a crowd the varies from Harvard Medical School professors to businessmen to the first woman to participate in the Boston Marathon.

Haris Lalacos to Joann Flaminio Presenting
Haris Lalacos (right) hands the official wreaths of the 2017 Boston Marathon to Joann Flaminio (left).

Though the main event of the evening was the transfer of the wreaths from the Ambassador of Greece Haris Lalcos to Boston Athletic Association President Joann Flaminio, there were a plethora of speakers.

Kathrine V. Switzer, notable for being the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon gave her piece as she prepared to run the race again at the age of 70, 50 years after running it originally.

Nick Kourtis 3 Present
Nicholas Kourtis (right) and Giogos Kaminis (left) present a middle school essay contest winner with her prize.

Another highlight of the event was Nicholas Kourtis, former president of the Alpha Omega Council, who along with Mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis, presented middle schoolers with awards for winning the essay contest that Kourtis and the Alpha Omega Council had set up to educate people on the history of the Marathon.

The entire event touches at the extremely deep history of the marathon, and also reaches back to the strong emotional bonds that tie this event to Greece and Greek history.