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Greek, Japanese marathon runners finish hand-in-hand - 03/07/2011

Marathon champions Maria Polyzou, of Greece, and Yuko Arimori, of Japan, crossed the S.O. half-marathon line on July 3 holding hands and inspiring other runners to do the same.

Polyzou is a veteran marathon runner and record-breaker in Greece, as well as the first Greek female to participate in Olympic and Balkan Games. Arimori won a silver in marathon at the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona and a bronze at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

The two athletes wanted to send a special message of unity and friendship to the world to reflect the message of Special Olympics Athens 2011.

"I’m very happy to be here today and run with Maria, at this special event," Yuko Arimori stated after the half-Marathon race ending at Kallimarmaron marble stadium.

"The message of these Games is that we’re not always competing for records or medals, but for social issues. The combination of the power of the mind, the body and the soul is a lot more powerful than anything else," Polyzou said.



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