Today we travel to South again. Our next target is the always sunny Greece, a little nation again. We have interview with a pretty young woman who is just 23 years old, but already have memories from Winter Olympic Games. Yes, today we asked Panagiota Tsakiri.
BFH: Dear Giota, thank you to accept our request. How are you now, and how do you spend your summer?
Giota:.Thank you for your request and your interest! The world of biathlon are mostly interested in the dominant athletes and countries, so it was such a nice surprise that you wanted to know about my little story.
I am very good, spending the summer with my family in my hometown, here in Greece.
BFH: Will we see you in some summer competition or you prepare yourself only for the winter season?
Giota:.I am getting ready to start at the Rollerski World Cup in
Tripoli, Greece, during next weekend. There are also some international
and Balkan biathlon races during summer that I would like to race, as it
would be good chances for training, but that depends on our
federation’s financial support.
BFH: You are very young, but
you already took part in Olympic Games. You started in Vancouver in two
competitions. You were only 19. What did you feel? How did you live it?
Please tell us some words about your feelings...
Giota:.Vancouver was my 2nd Olympic experience. The first time was in
Torino 2006 where I competed in cross country. Words are not enough to
describe such an experience…I was just 16 years old back then and
thrilled to have accomplished to qualify for the Olympics, so I really
The Olympic Games in Vancouver were very special to me.
I qualified and started in biathlon but I had with me the most special
teammate; my father! After a great career of 26 years in CC and
biathlon, he accomplished his 5th Olympic participation and we managed
to achieve the World Record of “father & daughter racing together in
Winter Olympic Games”. I have never felt prouder before, no matter
which were our standings after finish, anyway we are not professionals.
The most important thing is participation. And my Olympic participations
are the most amazing experiences I have ever had!
raced there and also race now with the biggest names in the World like
Magdalena Neuner, Tora Berger, Olga Zaitseva, Helena Ekholm, Kaisa
Mäkäräinen etc. ... Have you ever got plus motivation during the races
and the trainings?
Giota:.Yes, I did have the honor of racing
together with great athletes. I admire them and their effort and always
feels so huge and exciting to race together with so successful
BFH: Next year is an Olympic season too. How do you see your chances for Sochi?
Giota:.Unfortunately, my chances for biathlon for Sochi are small.
Until now, I do not have any female teammates able to race with me in
World Championships so Greece’s Nation Cup Score is poor in comparison
to other countries. Moreover, IBU allows only to the first 28 countries
to compete in the Olympic Games which is quite disappointing...Olympic
Games are the greatest celebration for the sport and all countries
should be able to compete.
Although, I am not giving up and I am going to prepare myself as good as possible for the upcoming winter.
BFH: What's your B-plan? What objectives would you like to perform in the next season? Where can your fans meet with you?
Giota:.My B-plan is cross-country skiing. I was always racing in
cross-country races together with biathlon. Therefore, during season
2013/14 I would like to compete in the three IBU Cups before Christmas
as well as in some cross-country competitions in order to try my chances
in cross-country for Sochi. Although, my schedule is not fixed yet as
it depends on the financial support from our federation and my time off
BFH: When did you start your career, and why did you
choose specially biathlon? What was your most memorable moments in your
Giota:.I started cross-country skiing in 2004 at the
age of 14 and biathlon in 2008. My mother and father were biathletes,
actually my father is still active so he “is” a biathlete for more than
25 years now. He encouraged me to give it a try and I realized how
interesting and exciting biathlon was. My qualification for Vancouver
Winter Olympic Games together with the person who was the reason to
start biathlon, my teammate, my trainer and my father is the most
memorable moment in my career.
BFH: Greece is also a little
nation in biathlon. Is this sport popular in your country? How do you
train? Are any condition perfect to prepare yourself successfully?
Giota:.Biathlon is not popular in Greece. We do have some small
mountains and Greeks are aware of skiing but Hellas is not a country
with tradition in winter sports. There is NO shooting range, our
training camps are less and shorter due to national financial problems,
there are not funds for ammunition, so conditions are not that unique.
Me, as well as my teammates are not professionals, each one of us has
studies, work etc. And we may not be among the leading countries or
athletes, our chances in preparation may not be the same, but we do
share a common thing; our love and passion for the sport.
The union between the athletes of little nation is more stronger than
the top athletes. With which nations do you have the best relationship?
Who is your best friend from the athletes?
We also help each other during competitions as we share the same
shooting lanes and wax rooms. So, we get closer and we become friends.
Unfortunately, due to university studies and work I did not spend a very
long time during winter season together with the other athletes, until
now. But I can tell that it is always very nice to see our biathlon
friends from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, Turkey, Nederlands, Spain,
Greenland and of course Hungary(!) who where cheering for me in the
tracks this year in Nove Mesto and I am grateful for that!
How did you spend your rest time in spring? You traveled to somewhere,
or you were with your friends and family? What do you usually like to
Giota:.Spring was half work and half studies time for me. I
had long exams as I am about to finish with my university studies in
Physical Education. Now, having more free time, I will focus on the
summer preparation and hoping that I will have some days off for summer
holidays in Greek islands during August
I really love spending time
with my family and good friends, I enjoy popcorn and movies and alpine
skiing as well as other sports in the nature.
BFH: We'd like to
say thank you again, we hope you a good preparation and a sucessful
season. Finally, have you got some special messages to the Hungarian
Giota:.Thank you for your interest! Keep sharing your love for the sport and I hope to see each other on the tracks!
Greetings from Greece!!!
Special thanks for this picture, because it was made specially for us in today morning's training!