Wilmington, DE – While visiting her Uncle Vasili Gatos in Athens Greece around 1996, Paula Gatos noticed a shiny trophy sitting in the corner of a room undisturbed amongst some books. Uncle Gatos explained to her that it was a torch from the 1936 Olympics that he had carried on it’s way to Berlin, Germany in his youth.
In fact, he was one of three brothers that carried the torch on its journey from Olympia to Berlin. It was the first year the torch was introduced into the historic Eleventh Olympiad. One of the most recognized events in sports history it is remembered for its association with the performance of American Olympian, Jesse Owens and is often referred to as Hitler’s Nazi Olympics because of it’s connection to WWII.
The torch was later willed to Paula Gatos by her Uncle and brought to America where it resides with her today. She has exhibited the torch at various events, including an Olympic book signing ceremony and at the Olympic Winter torch relay in 2001 that passed through the city of Wilmington, Delaware.
“The torch is very special to me. It is a significant piece of Greek and world history. It makes me proud to be Greek and to know my uncles each carried the Olympic flame that traveled to Berlin in 1936. I am a big fan of sports and the Olympics. I always have been. For me, if I can have any heirloom, this is the one that I am very happy to have.”