Climbing Mount Olympus to eradicate polio

The climbers raise a banner on Mount Olympus, Greece.

The climbers raise banners on Mount Olympus, Greece.

By Kostas Karvounis

In September, I joined two fellow Rotary members in Greece, Vassilis Papagiannis and Spyros Gravellas, in climbing Mount Olympus to raise money and awareness for polio eradication.

Almost three-decades ago, Rotary promised to eradicate polio, and we intend to keep our promise. Even though Greece has been polio-free for more than two decades, I still remember close family friends who were disabled by polio. I have four children, and I know that until polio is eradicated from the world, it remains a threat to children everywhere. So offering our children a polio-free world is the least we can do.

Clubs throughout northern Greece helped publicize our climb and collect donations, which totalled more than $4,000 for PolioPlus. We reached Olympus’ highest peak, Mytikas, at 2,919 meters (9,570 feet) on 20 September following seven hard hours of mountain trekking. We celebrated by raising banners and the flags of clubs who had helped us. After spending the night at Christos Kakalos, the highest refuge on the mountain, we returned to our base camp at Litochoro, having covered 27 kilometers (16.77 miles) on the “Mountain of Gods” in just two days.

For my fellow climbers and I, it was an incomparable experience. We thank everyone who helped our effort. But you don’t have to climb a mountain to help us end polio. Please consider one of the many ways you can join our fight to rid the world of this crippling disease, and keep our promise to the world.

141125_karvounisAbout the author: Kostas Karvounis is governor of Rotary District 2484, which includes Northern Greece. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Corfu International.

5 thoughts on “Climbing Mount Olympus to eradicate polio

  1. It give me HOPE to read a post like this. I am a polio survivor from 1948 at the age of 6 1/2 months. I know how important it is to you, as a father, to make sure your children will be polio free. I have done very well with my 66 years of polio and had a professional career that I was proud to be apart of 42 years as a dental assistant. I have been married for 45 years and enjoyed three children and families. My eight grandchildren are my great pride and possession.
    thank you for all that your organization does to eradicate polio. three decades is a long time to keep a promise going but I know it will be done.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Climbing Mount Olympus to eradicate polio | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

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