Pavlos Kontides, the Olympian who sailed into history
#InspirationalFriday – Pavlos Kontides has become one of the most revered Cypriot athletes of our time, despite his young age. He was born in Limassol in 1990 and he has dedicated his life in training and sailing especially. Kontides has earned an entire chapter in the history books of Cyprus, as he is the first athlete to ever win a silver medal at the Olympic Games, representing the island itself. His career started sailing and competing at the age of 9 and in 2013 he won the 1st place in the Pancyprian Teenage Laser Championship.
His passion, love and perseverance are his driving forces. As he said “A normal routine was to wake up around 5.15, go to the Nautical Club, take the bikes f.or 1 hour and a half of cycling, come home, shower, breakfast, go to school, get off at 2, go straight down to the Nautical Club, take my boat, get in the sea till 5 o’clock when it got dark, come out, change, shower, eat, then go to the gym and lift weights from 19 to 20:30. Then go home, study, eat dinner, take a shower, then go to sleep.”
At the age of 15, he was included in the Laser Sailing World Ranking for the first time, while at the age of 18, he reached number 96 on the same list. Kontides competed for the first time at the Olympic Games in 2008, getting the 13th place.
He also won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in 2008. In 2009, he won two silver medals in World Cups and a bronz
e medal in the Pan-european Men’s Championship.
In 2010, he came 5th at the Laser World Championship, while he was studying Ship Science.
The athlete competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics, against all of the world’s top athletes in Sailing Laser Class. Kontides finished 2nd, behind the legendary Australian Tom Slingsby and at the age of 22 he won the silver medal at the leading international sporting event.
This was the first medal Cyprus ever won in the Olympics, one of the biggest honours a person can give to his country. His achievements never stop and he is always training and aiming for the best.
In September 2017, he achieved the 1st place in the ILCA World Championship, becoming a World Champion. This year, he won the European Sailing Championship.
All his efforts, helped him reach the top of the world rankings! Hard work and dedication pay off.