Kostas Tsiklitiras

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Kostas Tsiklitiras, Olympic Gold Medalist
Men's Athletics
Silver 1908 Standing long jump
Silver 1908 Standing high jump
Gold 1912 Standing long jump
Bronze 1912 Standing high jump
Kostas Tsiklitiras

Kostas Tsiklitiras was a Greek track and field star and Gold Medalist at the 1912 Olympic Games of Stockholm.

Tsiklitiras was born in Pylos, Messinia on October 30, 1888 to a historic and rich family that contributed to the War of Independence.

His family sent him to Athens to study at the Merchant Academy. While in Athens, Tsiklitiras joined Panellinios Gymnastic Club as a track and field athlete. His height (1.92m) added to his extraordinary performance in high jump and standing long jump. In the Olympic Games of 1908 in London, Tsiklitiras won silver medals in the standing high jump (1.55m) and standing broad jump (3.245m).

In 1912, at Stockholm, he won bronze for the standing high jump but gold in the standing broad jump (3.37m). Prior to the 1912 Games, he had broken Ray Ewry's world record in the standing broad jump with a jump of 3.47m. He was the last Olympic winner in the standing long jump. That event was not included in future games.

Athens welcomed him as a real hero. Thousands of people were gathered at the city centre creating an enthusiastic atmosphere. The Greek Olympic winner raised in the hands of his compatriots was taken from Omonoia Square to his sports association, Panhellenios. The members of his association gave him a golden watch with the date of his victory engraved on it. The Bank of Athens offered him a post in its central office, which the Greek Olympic winner accepted.

Tsiklitiras also played football for POA - the ancestor club of Panathinaikos. His position was goalkeeper.

During the First Balkan War, Tsiklitiras joined the Greek Army as a sergeant and fought at the front line in Epirus. However, he contacted meningitis and died on February 10, 1913. The entire Greek nation mourned his death.

The Tsiklitiria meeting was established in 1963 in his memory. The games acquired great success during the decade of 1970 as Olympic games winners and athletes with world records competed in these meetings.