To: Mr. Marinakis – Olympiacos F.C.
I am certain that you receive countless phone calls, emails, and actual letters from people who have benefited from the incredible work you have performed on behalf of all Olympiacos supporters since you took over at the helm of Olympiacos F.C.
Becoming part of the Olympiacos F.C. family seven years ago was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I grew up in Greece and have been an avid Olympiacos supporter all my life – carrying that love across the “pond” to the United States. My dream was always to affiliate myself with Olympiacos F.C., while at the same time provide the youth of this country the love I experienced while playing football in Greece and abroad.
You gave us that opportunity 7 years (September 2011) ago when you and your closest associates lead by Mr. Pavlou (who has been an avid supporter of our soccer school throughout these years) made the decision to expand your club’s soccer school network outside of Greece, in a country that is not well known for its football roots (we are working on that).
You believed in two people (my wife and I) that you did not know at all but you shared your vision with us and allowed the youth football players here in Chicago to experience what they have always dreamed of – playing football at the highest level while at the same time developing as football players and responsible citizens for their community. The actions and values that you shared resonated so deeply with us, that our soccer school created its mission statement based on those:
ONE PASSION. ONE DREAM. ONE ACADEMY. ONE FAMILY.
I am more than aware that what I just said may sound like cliché to some. But, it is not cliché to us. It is elemental and pivotal as to how the Olympiacos Soccer School Chicago operates.
What you have done is to contribute in making a concrete difference in the lives of young football players that will be a legacy upon which people will look up to. Our pledge to you is that we will continue to wear our Olympiacos jersey with pride, fly the Olympiacos flag high in both Chicago and the United States, and continue to encourage and inspire the young football players instilling our values and mission. Count on us to keep that flame lit – after all you are the one that made it all possible for us.
You have given us such a great example of grace in the midst of complexity, dignity in the midst of opposition, and positivity in the face of all the negativity that comes with a life of public service.
All of this is just a very long way to offer you our THANK YOU!
Not just ours, but thanks from all the Olympiacos staff, coaches, and football families for whom you have made their love of football grow in Chicago! We could not have done it without you!
John & Angela Kosmas
Olympiacos Soccer School Chicago