The most talked about event today is definitely the Summer Olympics happening in London. And for the first time at an Olympics, Cyprus has acquired a medal and the hero, Pavlos Kontides, will be taking it home.
Pavlos Kontides, a 22-year old sailing champion has a lot to be proud of. One of his greatest accomplishments is earning the island country’s first ever Olympic medal. The athlete had a slim chance at clinching the gold medal in the final race, but he managed to secure a silver medal in the Laser class.
The medal offers exuberance in spite of the current issues Cyprus is facing. Cypriot media admire and comment Pavlos Kontides’ achievements, with one of the country’s newspapers acknowledging his accomplishment as the “brightest page in Cyprus’ sporting history.” A number of citizens are currently celebrating this new milestone. It has been said that Cyrpus have had a few Olympic medalists in ancient history, but since the nation took part in the modern-day Olympics in Moscow 1980, Kontides’ medal is the first.
Hopefully with the Pavlos Kontides’ silver medal attainment in sailing, Cypriots will be more focused on sports. The island country may be small, but most sports are governed by associations under Cyprus Sport Organisation.
The three most popular sports in Cyprus are football, basketball and recently Tennis because of the success of a Cypriot player named Marcos Baghdatis in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. Football though is considered the most popular sport in the island. The country has a national team. Although the team has still not succeeded in any major event they continuously compete in European matches and look forward to acquiring their first win. The Cypriot basketball league is considered to be semi-professional. The country’s basketball club Proteas EKA AEL finished third in the FIBA EuroCup.
Cyprus has hosted a sports triathlon event a few years back which turned out to be a huge success. Just this year, there have been a number of sporting events in the country presented by charities. They aim to promote the foundation and raise funds to support several outreach programs.
Pavlos Kontides’ silver medal has hopefully stimulated young people to take part in different sports activities. If basketball, football or tennis is not a teenager’s forte, perhaps he or she can give watersports a try. There are various water sports centres in Cyprus. In fact, people who go to Cyprus for vacation experience watersports activities like sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and others. Since the seafaring island country’s heritage in sailing stretches back thousands of years, it is only fitting that Cyprus’ first Olympic medal was from sailing. Cyprus’ current shipping registry also ranks tenth in the world.