Winter Olympic Games Lausanne 2020.
It was at the beginning of the year, however i consider my contribution as an IOC Athlete Role Model (ARM) at the Winter Olympics, one of the best highlights of 2020.
Being an athlete for more than 15 years, it was a wonderful experience giving back to the sport. It was fascinating to engage with the young aspiring athletes during their stay at the Olympic village, support, encourage them in their competitions and learn more about their concerns. In sessions such as the 'Chat with Champions' at Yodli cafe, we had the opportunity to interact with youth olympians, provide educational advices regarding their career after sports but also answer questions on health issues, physical and mental preparation before the competitions.
I left the closing ceremony of the youth olympics with a sweet feeling that this young generation has so much to offer to their societies through their well balanced personalities and promote the values of respect, friendships and excellence in their local communities.
March to remember!
It was at the beginning of the month when my partner Konstantinos and my brother Nikos organised a party for my 30 years celebration, in Lausanne.
Priceless time with friends who joined that day (it happened to be on Tuesday) when at the same time covid_19 had already showed up in Switzerland. Few days later the entire country was on lockdown mode :(
Grateful and lucky to have these people in my life. Their smile, encouragement and positive attitude for life have been very inspiring for me the past few years, living abroad.
Back on it, summer edition!
Somewhere in May, we decided to open a new training chapter with my friend and physical coach Slaven. At that time, i had recovered from my knee injury and i felt ready to start my trainings again. We followed a five months plans with lots of sweat, laughs, ups and down moments, but always fun. It is amazing training with Slaven. He can be your coach, your mental supporter and psychologist together. :)
Vacation 2020 in Greece!
Last summer's holiday really made me feel like a child again. Due to the pandemic we couldn't meet our friends so we kept it simple without any visits to neighbour places in Chalkidiki. In Toroni, we spent some quality time with family. We had our own spot at the beach where we would go every day, swim and play beach rackets until the sunset. Fact to be mentioned, usually i am traveling around the world either as an athlete XC skier or working at sport events with FIE. Last summer we would have had the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In total, it was a unique image to experience less crowded beaches, less noise. I was also positively surprised to see my compatriots doing sports, running, or choosing other outdoor activities apart from relaxing at the beach.
Roller ski races!
The month of September is usually the period when we test our performance before getting back on snow.
With a series of roller ski races in Serbia and Greece, we had the opportunity to compete again and meet (from distance) our fellow team mates. Anyway, in our sport the individual start involves 30sec. difference from one athlete to the other.
The staff from the organising committees followed the health protocol of each country and managed to deliver the events smoothly.
Needless to say, it requires many hours of endurance and strength trainings before entering your ski race season. My trainings on snow were not easy in November. I felt i was out of the sport for so long.
My first race was in Goms, Switzerland beginning of December. Heavy legs and the fact that i haven't competed on snow for more than a year were factors that influenced my result.
In cross country skiing we need to be patient and believe in our initial plan to reach the expected performance the right time.
The last race for 2020 was at the Davos World Cup. I had a better feeling already from the previous weekend.
With sincere appreciation of 2020 even if it was a difficult year for everyone, i strongly believe we all learnt a lot from it and we became stronger. I am ready for 2021 resolutions.
I would like to close this blog with the quote by Mahtma Gandhi:
''Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. - Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviour. - Keep your behaviour positive, because your behaviour become your habits. - Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. - Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.''
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