In a shocking confession during an online Conference on “Start to Talk – Break the Silence – Speak, Do Not Tolerate”, Greek sailing champion and 2-times Olympic medal winner, Sofia Bekatorou said she had been sexually molested by an official in the past.
In the online conference, organised by the Ministry of Sports, a few weeks ago, the Golden Olympian, left the sports community in shock when she revealed in an interview she gave to Evita Tsilochristou and Marie Claire’s online channel on youtube that she was a victim of sexual harassment.
The 43-year-old champion came out now, as she said to encourage other women who had experienced a similar experience to speak out and raise awareness.
The sailing champion revealed details of the abuse that scarred her at a young age by an older man she did not name.
“At one point, as we were talking to X, I came back and he kissed me. I froze, I did not know how to react, I never expected him to make such a move. For me, X represented the paternal model, he was a man who finally was not fight against us in the Federation and wanted our good, I thought.
I kept going at a faster pace, pretending I did not understand what had happened, although I told him I never expected such a move from him. Arriving at our hotel, in the elevator, before going to his room, he asked me to follow him. I refused and went to close the door. He was always polite and with a smile and asked me if I was afraid of him and then I replied that no, but that there was no reason to go to his room together. He, trying to convince me, assured me that he was not going to do anything erotic, just talk. But he knew how to talk to me and how to calm me down and make me drop my defenses. And when that happened, he started harassing me. I tried to push him away, to show him that there is no mutual desire, believing that he would respect it.
I told him no, I repeated that I do not want to move on and he with fake sweets said that it is nothing, making jokes. He said he would stop if I did not want to, but he did not stop whatever I told him. Crying and ashamed, I left the room when he finished and got up from above me. I went back to my room, where my fellow athlete was sleeping unsuspectingly. I took a bath, I felt dirty, exhausted, humiliated, and unable to defend my rights. While we had just acquired the right to dream with Emilia [her sailing teammate at the time], if I was talking about what happened to me, it might collapse.”
In a development today, the Hellenic Sailing Federation has urged Bekatorou to name the man she said had sexually harassed her.