Sport, as a value and as a way of life, is a cornerstone for the Government and it is our duty to support initiatives that promote sport, President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides said, during an official dinner in support of the sailor Pavlos Kontides’ initiative “Towards Paris”.
Addressing the event, which took place in Limassol, President Christodoulides said that his presence, “apart from being a sign of gratitude and recognition on behalf of the Cypriot State to Pavlos Kontides – who makes us constantly proud – aims to support the ‘Towards Paris’ initiative, to support our talented young athletes, but also to strengthen the Cypriot delegation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will take place this summer in Paris”.
Commenting that Olympic champion Pavlos Kontides is distinguished apart from his athletic performance for his ethics and humanity, the President of the Republic noted that “Towards Paris” is the continuation of the “Towards Tokyo” programme, which was presented in 2019 and “helped substantially in the preparation of five athletes, three of whom eventually competed in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics”.
In particular, President Christodoulides noted, “Towards Paris” was presented at the end of 2022, with the aim to support in various ways, including financially and morally, athletes born after 1994 and not belonging to the “A” category of the Cyprus Sports Organization planning, in order to prepare and qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024.
“As a result of the 2023 initiative, seven athletes were supported and another three will be added to the 2024 team, meaning a total of ten athletes will benefit from Pavlos’ initiative,” he added.
Pavlos Kontides, he continued, is using his popularity, earned through hardships and sacrifice, to support his teammates financially, and stressed that “he is not only a sports role model for us and his teammates, but he goes on to support them financially to achieve their dreams.”
In his address, the President noted that “sport as a value and as a way of life is a cornerstone of my administration and that is why we consider it our duty to be substantial supporters of initiatives that promote sport, such as tonight’s, that promotes Olympism.”
“We are proud that our very small Cyprus gave birth to great athletes like Pavlos, both in performance and in moral stature, because at the end of the day the spirit of sport is a spirit of inclusion, solidarity and fair play,” he added.