Monday , 22 April 2024

«From Ios to Rio» Interview with the swimmer of the Open Water Kelly Araouzou, who secured her qualification for the Olympic Games of Rio 2016.

From her childhood in the swimming pools, her athletic evolution led her to the Open Water and just a few months ago won the second World medal. At 25 years old, she has already secured the Olympic participation in Rio and makes her own dreams for the future.

From Ios island to Athens. How did you get involved with the sport of swimming and when you had your first successes?

Even though my origin is from Ios island, i was born in Athens where I ‘met’ the water at age of 3.5 years old, in the local sport club of Haidari. I stayed there until my 19 years old, but I did not have many successes, as I could not easily manage the stress in my games. More specifically I arrived in dilemma to have to choose whether to devote myself to my academic career or pursue my dreams in the field of sport. Reaching the qualification limit for the Junior World Championship in Mexico in 2008, was decisive for my decision. The medal at the 1500 meters confirmed that I made the right decision.

How you feel about having as a coach Nikos Gemelos and training with the Olympian Spyros Gianniotis?

With the coach Nikos Gemelos I collaborate for six years. He is very tiresome, but without his pressing I could not have those results now. I am not a person who easily enter into molds and that makes his job even more difficult. However, I know that if I put something in my mind I will try the best to succeed it, so all that remains is to give me the idea! Regarding to Spiros, means one simple word for me, "school". He is quite disciplined and committed to what he does. Many athletes are privileged with a lot of benefits, but Spiros is still here and he always fighting for the best. Every evening the pool is a bet, a battle between dissimilar athletes in many places but chasing the same goal.

2015 World Aquatics Championship in Kazan, Russia. 2η place in 5 km In Open water and silver medal and 8η place in the 10 km. If you have to choose one of them, what would you prefer? The medal or the qualification?

If I have to choose between the medal and qualification of the Olympics, I will initially tell that I do not have to choose because I have both. If you insist to do it, I would definitely choose the Olympic participation, because it is my dream to take part at least in one Olympic organization.

For Kelly as an athlete swimming means open water or swimming pool?

The Swimming for me is not only the Open water and I it prove almost every year with my participations in the 1500 meters in the pool. for large events whether scramble to them in the end. This year my goal is one, but also I have in my mind as well the events of the pool.

You secured your participation at Rio Olympic Games. You will go there for the experience or you have secret dreams?

At age of 25, I manage to secure my qualification for the Olympic Games and will push myself to the maximum in order not only for the participation. I know my capabilities, in accordance with my results in the big events of the past years.

2016 just started. Which events you chose to participate in Greece and abroad, until the Olympic Games?

On January 4 we will leave for our first preparation at the Pyrenees Mountains and the second one will take place on Easter time. I will participate in some races abroad but do not know right now where will be.

You have the chance to thank your supporters and express your grievances. You feel you received the privileges by the Greek State for your sucesses?

First of all, we must mention the conditions under every athlete trains and prepares. I think they are not in good level and certainly affect the daily efforts of each of us individually. Nobody is satisfied and in some cases we have to train in a frozen pool. I understand that this period is very difficult for everyone but somehow we have to find the balance. Furthermore, I want to thank the Genesis Farm and Mr. Euripides , because without their valuable support I could not properly prepare the next 200 days until the Rio Games. Finally, surely I must thank the people who are next to me and support me in every difficulty.

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