The Greek figure who constitutes a symbol for me in my struggle to make as many people as possible aware of dyslexia , is Spyros Gianniotis.
This open sea Olympic champion has marked my soul, heart and mind with his personality, his ethos and the strength of his character. – above all though, he has marked me because he’s got …..GUTS !!! .
Yes, it takes guts to come out and admit publicly even in nowadays Greece that you have dyslexia.
Yes, even nowadays Greece still lives in a state of incredible ignorance regarding dyslexia, and this ignorance , unfortunately concerns a large part of educators, and parents and results , alas!, in the stigmatization and victimization of children with dyslexia.
Yes, in 2014 Greece, dyslexia, is still considered a taboo issue and I can narrate to you numerous accounts of , personal, relevant , sometimes especially unpleasant , experiences .
Yes , dyslexia concerns about 1 in 10 children /people ( Or more !) . Statistically speaking then , you can calculate how many Greek famous people have dyslexia( Personally I have identified signs of dyslexia in quite a few of them …)
Never, and I repeat : never though , had any famous person in Greece come out in public to speak about his or her dyslexia, thus continuing the vicious circle of silence, shame and guilt .
Respectively, celebrities with dyslexia abroad , seem to comfortably come out and talk about it aiming at helping people with dyslexia .
And it’s a pity that this is the situation like in our country because famous people have , among others, the power to influence other people; consequently they could , through the example of their personal success, despite or due to their dyslexia, they could affect and change the totally wrong perception and attitude of people in Greece towards dyslexia.
The only bright exception to this gloomy situation in Greece has been Spyros Gianniotis. He was the only famous Greek person who had the guts to talk about his dyslexia. Spyros, who also had the guts to cry after the end of his marvelous race in 2012 Olympics and made me cry along him , as I watched him on TV, because in his tears I could measure the endless efforts and struggle he’ s been giving and the endless pain he’s been experiencing all these years in order to make the world –really- believe that he “is worth it ” ! .
For his attitude and quality of character , there only exists one word which can encompass my feelings for this man and this is : RESPECT!
For his attitude , wishing and hoping that he will set an example to be imitated by more famous Greek people, I devote this blog to Spyros, and I announce him the symbol figure of this blog .