Dreams and recognition
Miltos Tentoglou is known to most most people in Greece. After all, he is an Olympic gold medalist while he was also the favorite to win in the men’s long jump event at the European Championships in Munich on Tuesday.
But who knew of Antigoni Ntrismpioti? How many people had heard her name before Tuesday, when she surprised everyone by winning the gold medal at the age of 38 in what is for many a strange, unappealing and unpopular event called the Women’s Race Walk? Very few, except those who are involved – either professionally or out of interest – with athletics.
Her story hit the internet immediately after her triumph. She worked as a waitress in her family’s restaurant in the northern city of Karditsa, helping her mother and sisters, and then trained – often after midnight – to continue doing what she loved.
The gold medal is the triumph for Antigoni Ntrismpioti’s effort, the vindication of all the sacrifices she made to achieve her goals
All the years she was training, whether she was breaking records or failing, she did it alone, with the only support being from her own family and friends. Due to her “advanced” age – for sports – she could not even find sponsors.
Despite all this, she did not give up, and in the end she was rewarded. The gold medal is the triumph for her effort, the vindication of all the sacrifices she made to achieve her goals. A vindication that did not come because “the whole universe conspired,” but because it was preceded by hard and well-planned work and a will of steel.
“It’s career fulfilling. I didn’t think I could do this thing. But my coach, when he came to train with me, told me that I could be a two-time Olympian,” she said after winning gold, sending the message that dreams can come true, as long as there is dedication and effort.
The same hard work is behind the successes of Tentoglou, who’s a very special kind of athlete. It’s not just his class – his three measured jumps were better than any of the other athletes. It is also his character. He has an incredible spontaneity with no affected behavior – he is a real star of the sport.
Source : Kostis Fafoutis Σύνδεσμος