Greek Runner Helps Disabled Woman Achieve Dream of Climbing Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus Climb With Disabled Woman
(Instagram/marios_giannakou)

Greek mythology is full of legendary heroes, tall tales, and the like. The word hero even comes from a Greek word, as protector or defender. One Greek athlete proved the heroes aren’t all relegated to the mythical stories, as he helped carry a disabled woman to the top of Mount Olympus, making her the first person with a disability to see Greece from its highest point.

It’s inspiring, on many levels. It’s inspiring that someone with a disability isn’t afraid to tackle something most would think is inaccessible to her, and that she sets a great example that she isn’t limited by it. And it’s always inspiring when people go above and beyond to help someone achieve a dream. There’s nothing purer when one person directly helps another. Those gestures can seem small to some, but they can make a world of difference.

Distance runner Marios Giannakou had climbed Mount Olympus before, dozens of times. Eleftheria Tosiou, a 22-year-old student, had not, given her disability. But when she met Giannakou earlier this year, she expressed her goal. So he made it happen. He carried her up the famous peak, known as the Mountain of the Gods, in a specially-modified backpack.

The climb took 10 hours, but when they got to the summit, you can see nothing but joy on their faces.

 

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Εχθές ένας από τους παιδικούς μου ήρωες και ενας από τους πιο διασημους αστροναύτες της @nasa, ο @colchrishadfield ανέβασε την φωτογραφία μας με την Ελευθερία από τον Όλυμπο. Αυτές τις ημέρες έζησα αρκετές δυνατές στιγμές , συναισθήματα που δεν πίστευα ποτε ότι θα νιώσω, που καμια εξερεύνηση σε οποιαδήποτε ζούγκλα , ερημο ή στις παγωμενες εκτασεις τις Γης μας δεν μπορεσε να μου προσφέρει αυτά τα χρόνια .Το μεγαλύτερο μου δώρο ήταν η φιλία με το ζιζάνιο που λεγεται Ελευθερία .Και επειδή με ρωτάτε συχνά αν νιώθω ευτυχισμενος που ημασταν οι πρώτοι που καταφέραμε μια τέτοια ανάβαση στον Όλυμπο θα πω πως η πραγματική ευτυχία και εξερεύνηση δε βασίζεται στο γεγονός ότι ήμασταν οι πρώτοι που το πετύχαμε αλλά στο γεγονός ότι αφού το κάναμε εμείς μπορούν να το πετύχουν και να ακολουθήσουν και άλλοι. Εξάλλου πολλές φορές ακόμη και τα πιο μικρά βήματα του ανθρώπου μπορούν να εξελιχθούν στα πιο μεγάλα βήματα για την ανθρωπότητα. 📸 @c_sofikitis #keepdreaming

A post shared by Marios Giannakou (@marios_giannakou) on


“There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram. He also thanked Eleftheria for helping remind him to “live life without fear” and for helping to make him a better person.

On their way down, the duo received a special call from the Prime Minister of Greece, and their story quickly went viral. Giannakou said, many times, how happy he was for Eleftheria. But he also said he was most happy because they proved to people that it could be done, and helped pave the way for others in her situation to follow.

He summed up the experience in an Instagram post, borrowing a somewhat famous quote when he said:

“After all, many times even the smallest steps of man can evolve into the biggest steps for humanity.”

Absolute Legend Bikes Over 2,500 Miles From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek

Man Bikes From From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

Getting enough exercise takes a lot of motivation. The tough thing about motivation, though, is that it’s drastically different for everyone. Some people may be motivated by competition, while others may find motivation in working to improve their health. Ruben Lopez from Chicago took a different route when it came to finding the willpower to bike for 36 days – he found his drive in humor (at least partly).

We all know that jokes involving bodily fluids or gross bodily functions are automatically funny. I mean, there’s an entire line of products dedicated specifically to making it sound like someone farted as soon as they sit on them. It’s classic. Lopez shared his journey on Twitter, in a post that has accumulated over 700,000 likes in about a week. Why? Because poop jokes are classic. Or, in Lopez’s case, Poo Poo and Pee Pee jokes are classic. What an overachiever.

Ok, so technically, Lopez made his cross-country journey to raise awareness about the Yemen crisis. But for some beautiful reason, he took us on a magical journey through what feels like a 13-year-old’s dream.

Lopez briefly dropped into the Poo Poo Point Trailhead in Washington to begin his journey, and before long, he was off and riding. He slid right through Sharts Road, and in just 36 days, he made it. With a sigh of relief, Lopez reached the long-awaited “Urine Pee Pee Creek” sign (full disclosure – the sign really only said “Pee Pee Creek,” which is a huge missed opportunity if you ask me).

One observant Twitter user pointed out another interesting aspect of our hero’s journey…

Biker Miles
(Twitter/FSUAndrew)

But, no. It couldn’t be. He’s already given us so many gifts – it had to be a coincidence, right?

Biker 69
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

This impressive 23-year-old isn’t finished with his business quite yet. Lopez plans on biking to the Maine-Canada, for a grand total of 5,000 miles. Hopefully, the rest of his journey goes as smoothly as the first half. 2,500 miles down and he barely even looks wiped.