Who was Konstantinos Tsiklitiras?
Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, was a popular Greek athlete who rose to fame by winning a gold medal in the standing long jump at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. He won one gold medal, two silver medals and one bronze medal in his Olympic career. Apart from winning a gold medal and bronze medal (in standing high jump) in the Stockholm Olympic Games, he also participated in the standing long jump and standing high jump at the 1908 London Olympics and won silver medal in both the events. Konstantinos was a member of the Panhellenic Gymnastic Society where he practiced as a track and field athlete. He became Greek champion 19 times. His career ended abruptly when he volunteered for fighting in the Balkan Wars. Even though he could avoid conscription in the war, yet he insisted on participating in it for his country. During the war, he contracted meningitis and died at the age of twenty four. His original family home in Pylos has now been converted to a museum and is adorned by his lofty marble statue
Childhood & Early Life
Konstantinos Tsiklitiras was born on 30th October 1888 in the Pylos region of Messinia, in an illustrious and affluent family.
After his schooling, Konstantinos moved to Athens for studying commerce at the Merchant Academy. However, he soon discontinued the course and took up sports as his career.
Konstantinos was more interested in soccer and water polo in the early days of his career. He soon became a member of the Panhellenic Gymnastic society where he practiced as a track and field athlete.
Konstantinos also played football for the ancestral club of Panthinaikos, called the POA. Here, he played in the position of a goalkeeper.
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Konstantinos started his career as a track and field athlete. His exceptional performance on track soon made him a popular field star of Athens.
Being a member of Panhellenic Gymanstic Society, he participated in several field meets and jumps. He became Greek champion 19 times.
In 1908, Konstantinos made his first appearance in the Olympics. He participated in the London Olympics and won a silver medal each in standing high jump and standing long jump.
In 1912, he participated in the Stockholm Olympics and won gold for his brilliant performance in standing long jump. He was the last athlete to win the standing long jump in Olympics as this event was discontinued in future Olympic Games. In the same year, he also won bronze in the standing high jump competition of the Stockholm Olympics.
In 1913, his career came to an abrupt halt when he decided to volunteer for the First Balkan War. He soon became a sergeant of the Greek Army and fought at the Epirus’ front line.
Awards & Achievements
In 1908 London Olympics, Konstantinos won a silver medal each in men’s standing high jump and men’s standing long jump. He secured the second position in both these rounds.
In 1912 Stockholm Olympics, he won a gold medal in men’s standing long jump and a bronze medal in the men’s standing high jump.
Personal Life & Legacy
He died due to Meningitis on February 10, 1913, at the age of 24. At the time of his death, he was serving as a Sergeant of the Greek Army and was fighting in the Balkan War.
His original family home in Pylos has now been converted to a museum and is adorned by his lofty marble statue.
Besides being a track field-star, Kostas was also an soccer player and water polo enthusiast.