|Ambassador Zou Xiaoli Fires the Starting Gun for the 34th Athens Authentic Marathon|
On November 13, 2016, the 34th Athens Authentic Marathon was opened.
In the morning, the Marathon Municipality, a small town which is at northeast and about 42 km away from Athens, was crowded with 50,000 marathon athletes and amateurs from 105 countries and regions preparing for the event. At 9 a.m., Ambassador Zou Xiaoli, together with Ms. Jemima Sumgong from Kenya, the Women's Marathon Champion of 2016 Rio Olympic Games, fired the starting gun. All at once, the crowd crossed like a tide over the starting line and ran towards Athens.
Subsequently, Ambassador Zou accepted interviews from the Greek National Television, Alpha Television, China Xinhua News Network Corporation, and other Chinese and foreign media. He said he was pleased to be invited by the Marathon Organizer to fire the starting gun for the Marathon. This is not only his personal honor, but also the honor of the Chinese marathon runners, which reflects the deep friendship between the Chinese and Greek people. Marathon has become the link to connect Greece and China, and Greece and the world at large. Today's authentic marathon is an event of friendship, unity, harmony, and joy. Chinese people admire Greece for its outstanding contributions to the advancement of mankind. Greece is China's real strategic partner. Next year is the Year of Sino-Greek cultural exchange and cultural industry cooperation. China is ready to work with Greece to promote the marathon sport and marathon spirit, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations, and deepen the friendship and cooperation between peoples.
At 12 p.m., Ambassador Zou came to Panathenaic Stadium,the Finish line of the Marathon and venue for the first modern Olympic Games. Together with Governor of Attica Region Rena Dourou and other officials, he awarded and took photos with the winners, amid cheering of thousands of viewers in the stadium.
More than 300 Marathon athletes and amateurs from China participated in the competition. Before the game, Ambassador Zou met them and encouraged them to pass on the friendship of Greek people back to the Chinese people and act as facilitators of friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.