Born and raised in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, 

Eleni Petrou, moved to the United States in 2014. Now Athens Academy's certified athletic trainer, 

Petrou's journey to the states is a nothing short of the American dream. 

While residing off the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea, Petrou looked for schools with athletic training programs. She came across the University of Georgia and decided it was the perfect fit. She later attended George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she received a Master’s degree in exercise, fitness and health promotion.

After completing her Master’s degree, Petrou worked in Washington D.C. for two years before returning to Athens as an athletic trainer employed by Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, in which she was contracted out to area high schools. 

Petrou was assigned to Athens Academy and became the first full-time trainer contracted to the school, where she remained for nearly three years. 

“My job is to make sure the athletes are healthy while performing to the best of their ability. I try to focus on physical and mental [health],” Petrou said. “If they get hurt on the field, we're the first ones running out there trying to make sure they get that immediate care. And then we also work with them…on rehabbing whatever injury they may have.”

Petrou treats athletes holistically, focusing on their physical injury and considering how it impacts their mental health. Finding ways to make an athlete who is rehabilitating feel like a part of the team can have a positive impact on their recovery.

For more on this story, see the March 9 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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