Greece Wildfires Hit Close To Home For Tsitsipas
#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas is trying to raise money to support his friend and fellow tennis player, along with many others who have suffered due to wildfires in the Attica region of Greece. The wildfires have caused more than 80 deaths over the past few days.
“Many people lost their lives. Many families were affected. It was a very rough day for the nation and all the citizens of the country,” Tsitsipas said in a YouTube video. “I happen to have a friend (Alex) with whom I used to play when I was younger in Greece. We used to play in the same tournaments. He’s currently in the hospital in a very bad condition. He lost his home. The fire reached his house, and he’s been through really tough times. It’s a disaster.”
Tsitsipas began a Facebook fundraiser, which has raised more than £1,500 thus far. It is an issue that hits close to home for the 19-year-old, and not just because the tragedy is occurring in his country and has affected people whom he knows.
“I remember 10 years ago it was me and my family, we were coming back home from a trip that we made in France,” Tsitsipas. “I remember looking out of the airplane’s window before we landed, and I remember seeing the whole region of Attica and Athens in flames, and I never felt my scared in my life, looking outside that window. You could see the terror in my eyes. I was terrified.”
While Tsitsipas’ plane landed safely that day, the memories have inspired him to try to help others.
“All I want to do is contribute to my society, to my country, to my people,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m please asking you for some help and some compassion. It is not for me, it is for the people.”