With the solid
support of his
family and coach,
qualified to the
BY JOHN CRUMLISH
THOMAS SCHRE YER (BACKGROUND); FAMILY PHOTO SUPPLIED
AT last fall’s world championships in Tokyo, Vasileios Tsolakidis of Greece simultane- ously earned a silver medal on parallel bars and, at long last, a berth to the Olympic Games. Tsolakidis’s achievement in Tokyo, which assured him a place at this summer’s
Olympics in London, confirmed the recent rejuve-nation of a lengthy career dotted by marks of brilliance and blots of failure.
The irrepressible Tsolakidis has been pursuing his
Olympic quest for the past decade. Born Sept. 9,
1979, in Thessaloniki, he made the parallel bars
final at the 2001 worlds and won the ’02 European
title on his specialty, but watched as teammates
Tsolakidis at home
with wife Georgia
Straka and kids (from
left) Fotis, Panagiota,
Thanasis and Stefanos
Vlasios Maras and
qualified for the ’04
Athens Games, where
Tambakos won rings.
Tsolakidis lost his chance for the ’08 Beijing Games
when he botched the opening of his parallel bars
routine in qualification at the ’07 worlds in
Stuttgart, a qualifying meet for Beijing.
Tsolakidis heads to London on the momentum
he’s generated by medal-winning performances at
the 2011 worlds, as well as the ’ 10 and ’ 11
Europeans. In this IG interview, he describes the
struggles and triumphs he has faced along the way.