The champion and the Mother of God (photo report)

“Please do not remember my sins” was the prayer that Ilias Iliadis said during Olympic Games held in London in 2012. “Mother of God, please do not remember my sins, and help me to gain an Olympic medal; and if you help me, I promise that I will give to you”.

Ilias Iliadis is a Georgian-born Greek judoka who has been competing for Greece since the start of his international career. He was the Greece’s flagbearer in 2008 and he aims not to gain the earthly prize but the heavenly one, since he realizes that true happiness and success is a gift from God, no matter what people say.

In this photo Ilias poses with Abbot Ephraim, who placed the medal on him just before he gave it as an offering of thanks to the miracle-working icon of Paramythia.