Pavlos Kontides – Southampton’s Silver Sailor

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Southampton University is basking in Olympic glory after sailor Pavlos Kontides snatched a silver medal for Cyprus down in Weymouth yesterday! The ship science student sailed into a podium position in the Laser Class yesterday to the delight of everyone at the university.

Well Done Pavlos Kontides! Image courtesy of ‘onEdition’

“I feel incredible, wonderful,” Pavlos told the world’s media after raising his arms and shouting aloud during the medal ceremony. “I never gave up, I believed in the medal and I want to thank my family and the team.”

I feel incredible, wonderful

Pavlos Kontides

Indeed it was not just Pavlos’s family who were overjoyed with his success; he received a phone call from none other than the President of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias inviting him to visit the Presidential Palace. Pavlos is going to have to get used to this stellar treatment as Cyprus’s biggest success story of the games so far.

Back at Southampton University the faculty of Engineering and the Environment has been celebrating the success of this young talented student. Dr. Dominic Hudson and his colleagues highlighted Kontides’s dedication and maturity as integral to his success:

“All of us in Ship Science would like to congratulate Pavlos on his exceptional achievement in winning the silver medal in the Laser class at the Olympics,” said Dr. Hudson, Senior Lecturer and Course Co-ordinator for the MEng in Ship Science.

“He showed great maturity in suspending his studies after successful completion of the second year of his degree course in order to concentrate on training and competing in the run-up to the Olympics and we are all pleased that this hard work has paid-off in the best possible manner.”

Dr. Hudson went on to congratulate Kontides on behalf of the sailor’s Ship Science coursemates who form “a small cohort,” of whom many are also “keen sailors, so we are extremely proud to have an Olympic medalist from amongst our current students,”

“We now look forward to welcoming Pavlos back to the University in October for the resumption of his degree course.” He will surely receive a hero’s welcome!

We now look forward to welcoming Pavlos back to the University in October for the resumption of his degree course.

Dr. Hudson

But Kontides’ silver medal is not the only reason the the faculty of Engineering and the Environment are excited to welcome him back, Dr. Hudson further stated that “he is not just a good sailor – he is currently averaging marks in the First Class range across all subjects,” it could even be that his impressive achievements in the subject assisted in his achievements on the water yesterday.

Pavlos is no novice in prestigious Sailing competitions though as he scored his first competitive win at the Laser Youth National Championship in 2003 at the age of 13 and  in 2007 and 2008 he won back-to-back gold medals in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Canada and Denmark.

Impressively four years ago at the Beijing Olympics he placed 13th as the youngest sailor in the competition.  And in the run up to London 2012 he placed 5th at the World Senior Championship on Hayling Island in the UK last year.

Pavlos’ Olympics campaign has not been without its setbacks as he suffered with injuries yet even a broken hand which forced him to wear a cast whilst training, didn’t deter Pavlos from pursuing and achieving his goal yesterday.

Pavlos explains just what his silver medal means to him, “I have worked very hard and stopped my studies to be here today,” and addressing his setbacks he defiantly stated “Nothing could discourage me, not even all the injuries. I was confident that I could do it.”

I have worked very hard and stopped my studies to be here today

Pavlos Kontides

So you see, Pavlos confirms just what can be achieved with self-belief, determination and hard work!

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I study history. I like sport.

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