“Nikos Samaras” Award

The Organizing Committee of the 31st I.C.P.E.S.S. decided to change the routine this year and award a person who is neither an Olympic nor a Paralympic champion, but who promotes sports and the sports movement based on its value for people. Ada Stamatatou sets a great example for “Exercise is Medicine”!

Who is Ada Stamatatou

Ada Stamatatou was born in Athens and studied classical dance and gymnastics. Since 2017 she is an activist marathon runner (New York, Berlin, Chicago, London, Tokyo) fighting for autism with the aim of completing the Six World Marathon Majors spreading awareness about autism.

She is an open sea swimmer and does short distance triathlons in Greece and abroad always to raise awareness about autism. She recently published the children’s book “What’s up with John” from Metaichmio publications where she explains to children from the age of 4 years old what autism means.

She is the president of the Urban Non-Profit Society Race for Autism (https://raceforautism.gr) which was created to inform and raise public awareness about autism spectrum disorders and for the equal participation of people with neurodiversity in sports competitions in Greece. She has said about sports in her life: “At 42 when I decided to go to a 5km night race in Athens  for fun, I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I said to myself that I will never be like this again”.

So, I started running. I got a coach and started taking part in running competitions. Four years later I finished my first Marathon in Berlin and the following year in New York, where I ran for the global autism awareness and acceptance organization OAR. Then open sea swimming came into my life and then the “sprint” distance triathlon. I like swimming very much, because since I don’t have time to think about any of my problems when I swim, it is very relaxing for my mind.

I am excited about thriathlon as well. I like all this craziness of  swimming, gettting out, putting on bike shoes and a helmet, biking, coming back, leaving the bike, changing shoes again and finally running!! A madness that fills you with joy! My next goal is to finish 6th  in the World Marathon Major in Boston in 2024 and win the six-star medal.”