Kenilworth, NJ.- The 2005 GOYA Olympics of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey was held with resounding success this past Memorial Day Weekend in Elizabeth, New Jersey, with over 500 participants and event volunteers representing almost 20 Parishes from throughout the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey (New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and Greater Philadelphia).
Events included track & field, swimming, volleyball and the annual Chris Gacos Memorial marathon. Most of the running preliminaries, swimming and volleyball events took place on Saturday, May 28, 2005, at the Dunn Sports Center in Elizabeth, NJ. The young people enjoyed a fun day of fellowship and spirited, yet friendly, sports competition while at the same time basking in the warm sun during the breaks. Later that same evening, a glamorous Dinner Dance was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Newark, which further added to the “oneness” of the GOYA Olympics participants.
On Sunday, May 29, 2005, all of the young people, coaches and advisors attended the Divine Liturgy which was celebrated by the V. Rev. Archimandrite George Nikas, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. The Olympiad then moved to Williams Field for the traditional Opening Ceremony that included the Invocation, Parade of Churches, Olympic Torch Run, American and Greek National Anthems and greetings from Mr. & Miss GOYA. Later in the afternoon, the capacity spectator crowd saw the finals of the running events as well as all of the field events, including long jump, shot put and the marathon. The beautiful weather added to the spirit of camaraderie that prevailed throughout the weekend’s exciting sports extravaganza.
His Eminence Metropolitan EVANGELOS of New Jersey, accompanied by the Rev. Protopresbyter Anargyros Stavropoulos, Chancellor, and other Clergy, presided over the Father Dean Martin Memorial Award Ceremony at the end of the marathon and events. His Eminence personally congratulated each of the winners as he bestowed upon them the characteristic Olympics Medal of Gold, Silver or Bronze. His Eminence then addressed all present, reminding all that our young people are our Church’s most precious resource, as they are the Present of the Church, and not just the Future.
The weekend’s Olympiad was coordinated by a most dedicated group of GOYA Advisors and Coaches, led by Co-Chairpersons Andy Hios and Ann Haviaris. His Eminence Metropolitan EVANGELOS of New Jersey, in thanking the talented organizing team, shared his vision and pledged his full support for an even more extensive and encompassing Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey GOYA Olympics next year.