Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Vow of an Olympic Gold Medalist

Anna Korakaki is a shooter who represented Greece at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, winning a gold medal in the 25m pistol and a bronze medal in the 10m air pistol. At the age of 20 and in just her maiden Olympic campaign, she became the first Greek woman to win two Olympic medals in the same competition and the first Greek athlete in general since 1912, making her one of the most decorated Greek athletes ever.

On her return to Greece and to her native Drama, before reaching her home, she stopped in the village of Modi in Thessaloniki, where she fulfilled a vow by stopping at the Chapel of Saint Marina, and venerated her icon in thanksgiving for her win. Then she arrived in her native Drama, where she was welcomed with much celebration.

The Chapel of Saint Marina in Modi was built in the 18th century. As is told by locals, the priest of the village named Themelis had a vineyard nearby, and in a dream Saint Marina appeared to him and told him to find an icon of hers that was placed in the hollow of a tree, and to build a church to house the icon. Because the original icon was stolen in the past from the chapel and returned, it is now located in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Modi. Many miracles are attributed to this icon.