Greek Tennis Players At The Olympic Games

The Irish John Pius Bolant was a student at Oxford when he invited a Greek friend, Thrasybulus Manaos to speak at the University of the Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, as they had just been announced. Then he came to Athens to attend the Games. In a friendly dinner he met a Greek from Alexandria, Dionysis Kasdaglis who invited him to participate in the Olympic Tennis Tournament. After a few successful games Bolant was to play in the final with his new Greek friend Kasdaglis. The Irish, who competed with the typical colors of Great Britain won the final 6-2, 6-2. The winner said that he felt bad to win over his friend, while the spectators argued that he won because he wore a certain kind and pioneering – for the time – sports suit and light shoes. Later in life the first Olympic Champion of Tennis became a Member of Parliament, author, leader in the effort of independence of Ireland and formalization of the Irish language.

Moving on to our own matters. We have taken part in 10 Olympic Games in Tennis with 30 entries from 13 men and 9 women. Tasos Bavelas, Christina Zachariadou and Lena Daniilidou have participated 3 times each.

Lena Valaoritou – Skaramanga and Helen Kontostavlou – Nikolopoulou were the first woman – in any Sport – who competed in the Olympic Games. Unless we are also counting the Middle-Olympics of 1906, when the title was acquired by ladies in ranking order 1) Ismene Simiriotou, 2) Sophia Marinou, 3) Euphrosyne Paspati and 4) Aspasia Matsa. But officially the participation of women in the Olympic Games was recognized in 1908.

The official participations are the following:

I OLYMPIC GAMES OF 1986 ATHENS

  • KASDAGLIS DIONISIS: (with the colors of Egypt) 2nd men singles, 2nd in men doubles with Dimitris Petrokokkinos.
  • PETROKOKKINOS DIMITRIS: 2nd in men doubles with Dionisis Kasdaglis. 5th in men single.
  • AKRATOPOULOS ARISTIDIS: 3rd winner in men doubles with his brother Kostas Akratopoulos, 5th in men singles.
  • AKRATOPOULOS KOSTAS: 3rd winner in men doubles with his brother Aristidies. 5th in men singles. Defeat in men singles.
  • PASPATIS KONSTANTINOS: 3rd in men singles. Defeat in men doubles with Evagelos Rallis.
  • RALLIS EVANGELOS: 5th in men singles. Defeat in men doubles with George Paspatis.
  • FRAGOPOULOS G.: Defeat in men doubles.

VII OLYMPIC GAMES OF ANTWERP 1920

  • ZERLENTIS AVGOUSTIS: Defeat in men singles.

VIII OLYMPIC GAMES OF PARIS 1924

  • VIII OLYMPIC GAMES OF PARIS 1924: Defeat at women singles as well as women doubles with Helen Kontostavlou – Nikolopoulou, as well as in mixed doubles with Avgoustis Zerlentis.
  • ZERLENTIS AVGOUSTIS: Defeat in men singles, as well as men doubles with Pantelis Papadopoulos, as well as in mixed doubles with Lena Valaoritou – Scaramanga.
  • PAPADOPOULOS PANTELIS: Defeat in men singles as well as men doubles with Avgoustis Zerlentis, as well as mixed doubles with Helen Kontostavlou – Nikolopoulou.
  • KONTOSTAVLOU – NIKOLOPOULOU HELEN: Defeat in women singles as well as women doubles with Lena Valaoritou – Scaramanga, as well as mixed doubles with Avgoustis Zerlentis.

XXIII OLYMPIC GAMES OF LOS ANGELES 1984

  • KANELLOPOULOU AGELIKI: Defeat in a demonstration match in singles women.
  • BAVELAS TASOS: Defeat in a demonstration game in men singles.

XXIV OLYMPIC GAMES OF SEOUL 1988

  • KALOVELONIS GEORGE: Defeat in men singles as well as men doubles with Tasos Bavelas.
  • BAVELAS TASOS: Defeat in men doubles with George Kalovelonis.
  • TSARMOPOULOU OLGA: TSARMOPOULOU OLGA

XXV OLYMPIC GAMES OF BARCELONA 1992

  • PAPADAKI CHRISTINA : Defeat in women singles as well as women doubles with Christina Zachariadou.
  • ZACHARIADOU CHRISTINA: Defeat in women doubles with Christina Papadaki.
  • EFREMOGLOU GEORGE: Defeat in men doubles with Tasos Bavelas.
  • BAVELAS TASOS: Defeat in men doubles with George Efremoglou.

XXVI OLYMPIC GAMES OF ATLANTA 1996

  • PAPADAKI CHRISTINA: Defeat in women singles as well as women doubles with Christina Zachariadou.
  • ZACHARIADOU CHRISTINA: Defeat in women doubles with Christina Papadaki.

XXVIII OLYMPIC GAMES OF ATHENS 2004

  • DANIILIDOU LENA: Defeat in women singles as well as in women doubles with Christina Zachariadou.
  • ZACHARIADOU CHRISTINA: Defeat in women doubles with Lena Daniilidou.
  • OIKONOMIDIS KOSTAS: Defeat in men singles as well as men doubles with Vasilis Mazarakis.
  • MAZARAKIS VASILIS: Defeat in men singles as well as men doubles with Kostas Oikonomidis.

XXIX OLYMPIC GAMES OF BEIJING 2008

  • DANIILIDOU LENA: Defeat in women singles as well as women doubles with Anna Gerasimou.
  • GERASIMOU ANNA: Defeat in women doubles with Lena Daniilidou.