Wednesday , 19 June 2024

«Blessed and happy for being Olympic Medalist!» Interview with the Olympic Medalist of Waterpolo and President of the Greek Olympians, Voula Kozompoli.

The puzzle of Voula Kozompoli’s life includes a successful athletic career, peaking with the Silver Olympic medal, the highest maternal duty and her contribution to the society and the sports.

You had a great sporting career full of successes and emotions. Which were your first steps in the field of sport and water polo?

I started to swim at the age of 5 years old when my parents bring their three children at the pool of Glyfada to learn how to swim. My older brother and I, immediately stuck the "germ"! I had some successes in swimming at the national level and I was passionate about water. At the age of 16 ½ years I started to get bored of swimming and I decided to start the water polo in 1991. Please note that the women's water polo in Greece had just started the first National Championships, which took place in the period 1987-1988. In water polo I loved even more the water and started to put goals and eventually I managed to be basic player of the national team of Greece for 15 years, with my top success of the Olympic silver medal in 2004.

We would like to share your top moments during your athletic career.

A landmark for me and the Greek women's water polo in general was in 2000, where the team of Glyfada won the European Champions Cup. After that we realized that we have opportunities to take the lead in international competitions. Of course, the crowning moment in my career is the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Athens, which is the first medal in a team sport for our country.

At the Olympic Games in Athens 2004, you had the chance to win an Olympic medal. Can you describe that moment?

It is a moment that I will always remember with much pride and emotion. Once finished the final game I was crying but I did not know exactly why. At first I was angry and upset because we lost the gold medal. I had mixed feelings ... But very soon I realized that my tears were tears of joy for winning the silver medal and even in our country where the Olympic Games were born.

Today, you have the honor to be the President of the Hellenic Olympians, an association with social and sports offer. Which are your goals for the development and promotion of the club?

The last two years we have developed great activity. We have produced several programs such as the "Athletic Orientation" in the country's schools and also we support many actions for the promotion of sports and the Olympic Values. Regarding the development and promotion of the Hellenic Olympians, it would be desirable to activate as much as possible Greek Olympians and collaborate with associations and Olympians from around the world, in order to promote the Olympic values, the Olympic Truce and peace worldwide.

Recently, you received the award 'Women and Sport' by the International Olympic Committee, for your general contribution to society, particularly in support of women's sports.

After the silver medal at the Olympic Games, this pan-European award from the highest sporting organisation of the world has the role of satisfaction, greatest honor and recognition for my efforts to promote sport and the values of the society and help the women to find their place and role in the sports 'scene'. Furthermore, with the support of IOC, I create a campaign entitled ‘make place for one more woman’ and various related activities.

What means to you the Olympism and the Olympic Games and which role they have played in your life?

The effort, cooperation, collegiality, friendship, respect, persistence in goal and overcome difficulties are important values in my daily life and summarizes the concept of Olympism. The participation in the Olympics is a life dream for every athlete. I feel doubly joyful and blessed because I was able to participate in the Olympic Games in our country and win the silver medal.

Are you optimistic about the future of the Greek sports and especially for the presence of our country at Rio Olympics?

Generally I am optimistic person and I want to think positively under any circumstances. We all know the difficult situation of our country, which of course has affected at sports as well. Our athletes make great efforts to keep up our flag high with the help of some private initiatives and we believe that even under these conditions, we will have successes and medals at the Olympic Games in Rio that will make us proud.

Which are your future dreams, both on personnel and professional level?

My priority is my two children and I want to help them and make them well educated. Regarding myself, I really wish to continue to create and offer in the areas of the Olympic movement, the sports and the society.

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