Tuesday , 23 April 2024

«I want to thank all my supporters» Interview with the top Greek Paralympian Dimitra Korokida to paralympicus.gr

She succeeds to keep herself in high level performance in three different sports and puts goals for the future. The top Greek Paralympian Dimitra Korokida, after a very successful year, still training, fighting and dreaming…

At age of 10 years old you started your involvement in sports and in particular with the martial arts. Why you chose this kind of sports?

My choice to start with martial arts at that age was completely spontaneous and random. The main stimulus was the films on martial arts that were widespread in the decade of 80s and fascinated me. When I asked from my parents to learn karate, they took me to try the sport of Taekwondo and from that time I stayed there. This option determined not only my life but also my development as a person.

In 2005, a landmark year after the accident you had, you founded your own martial arts school. Which was your motivation for this?

Even before the accident I thought to create my own school in order to motivate the children to the values of Korean Martial Arts. In 2005, when I have the accident, the need to do it actually became more urgent. The fact that I was sitting in a wheelchair gave me a greater emphasis on the concepts of discipline and respect.

You are a special type of champion because you manage to combine successfully three sports that are not related to each other (Athletics, Cycling, Martial Arts). Is it difficult?

It is very difficult but interesting at the same time. After 30 years of training and coaching, I see sports as a lifestyle. Athletics and cycling are actually two completely different sports but I give each other something that makes me feel good. The athletics give me the opportunity to take part in high level competitions and bring medals to my country and the cycling helps me to improve my cardiovascular endurance and take part in cycling games across Greece. This fact makes me feel great and also to have good psychology.

Are you satisfied with the support of the State to Greek Paralympians?

According the sports law, the privileges for the Paralympians are the financial support, the possibility of study in any university without examinations and the chance to work in the public sector. After the memorandum in Greece, the situation is more difficult but the most important is that still some people have this support. The financial reward is important because most of the athletes with disability have to pay by their own the coaches and the participation for their competitions abroad. Unfortunately, the support of the State for athletes with disabilities before becoming a Paralympian, is just by the grant they received by the National Sports Federation for Disabled People. The amount of this grant has been reduced significantly and the Federation gives great effort to secure the money for all the Paralympic sports.

2015 was a very successful year for you, with great sporting successes and awards. Which are your goals for this Paralympic year?

Actually 2015 was the best athletic year for me so far. I won the gold medal at the World Athletics Championship for Athletes with Disabilities and this gives me great satisfaction and strength to continue for my new goals. For 2016 which is Paralympic year, my ultimate goal is to win a Paralympic medal on September in Rio. Until the great games of Rio, i will take part in international games on March in Dubai and at the European Athletics Championships on June in order to achieve my high level performance.

Which are your dreams for the future, both in sports and in a personal level?

After Rio, the next Paralympic Games will be on 2020 in Tokyo. I would love to take part in this Paralympic because I know what Japan means to me and will be something unique. I hope I will be able to deal with sports for a lot of years and support my students in my sport school. Personally, I want to share with my friends beautiful experiences with peace and tranquility.

You would like to thank someone specifically and to whom you want to express your complaints?

I would like to thank everyone who supports me and I am so happy because they are plenty. First of all, Athena who is always beside me, my students at the sports school, my friends, my sponsors who were friends and the people who filled my page on facebook with warm greetings and beautiful words.

My complaints are for the political leadership of my country and for each person who is in charge in my area. For pushing the young people to leave Greece and travel in foreign countries, for the corruption which is still exists and especially for making the proud people to feel poverty stricken.

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One comment

  1. Example for mimisi! We have no wish to remain sealed success. Go loud!

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