"Having the right development gives us the tools for long-term progress. Let's do this for our children's future, only then will we live in a truly developed Cyprus"
Pavlos Kontides was born in Limassol on the 11th of February 1990. He has been sailing since the age of nine years. At fourteen he started training more seriously, turning the sport from hobby into lifestyle.
The year 2007 was when big success started for him: firstly by getting the qualification for the Olympic Games in Beijing and, a week later, by winning the gold medal at the ISAF Youth World’s Championship. In 2008, at the age of 18, he won the ISAF Youth World’s Championship again, making history in sailing as the only athlete who ever managed to win the gold medal twice in Laser class. A month later, he took part in the Beijing Olympics as the youngest athlete in Laser class and got an honorary 13th place.
2009 was a very successful year with two silver medals in World Cups, one of which in England at the venue where the 2012 Olympics also took place, and a bronze medal at the European Men’s Championship. At the end of 2010 Pavlos paused his undergraduate studies in Ship Science at the University of Southampton to entirely devote himself to the preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. That same year he presented a tremendous stability in his results, winning 5th place in the World Men's Championship and 1st place in the under-21-years category.
In July 2012 Pavlos saw the culmination of all his efforts: at the Olympic Games, he won the silver medal in sailing in Laser class. Pavlos wrote his name with golden letters in Cyprus history, by giving his country its first ever and long-desired Olympic medal. With this achievement Pavlos not only inspired a generation, as was the motto of the 2012 Olympics, but he also gave faith and hope to his small country who have been the underdogs at the Olympic Games for many years. In July 2013 Pavlos completed his studies at Southampton University and in November 2013 he won the silver medal on the Laser World Championship in Oman.
Pavlos’ overall results gave him a place among the top ten world athletes, reaching up to 4th place in the world ranking, and showed that he rightfully deserves to be among the elite of world sailing.
In September 2014 at the ISAF World Championship in Santander, Pavlos was the first Cypriot athlete to get his ticket for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. However, he is not only a top athlete, but he has also been socially active. In Cyprus, when he has time away from his sailing, Pavlos trains young athletes in sailing, he lectures primary-school students about the importance of sports in our lives and he takes part in charity events.