Christou adds another medal for Greece in swimming after Anna Ntountounaki became Greece’s first-ever woman to win a gold medal in swimming at a European Championships on Tuesday.
Romania’s Robert Glinta got to the wall first, nabbing his first-ever individual title at a European Championships, as well as the first title ever for a Romanian male.
Additionally, en route to grabbing the gold, his winning effort of 52.88 clinched a new national record.
He beat Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez by just .02. Christou was also right there nearly in the gold medal spot, instead wrapping up bronze in 52.97 along with Frenchman Yohann Ndoye Brouard.
In an interview with Greek Reporter recently, Christou spoke about his goals in joining the Los Angeles Current in Season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL).
Christou: Never give up
“I am very excited to be a part of this team,” he said. “Lenny Krayzelburg asked me to join his team, and I got very excited because I want to be a part of the evolution of our sport.”
Of his daily motivations, Christou said, “The ambition that I have to reach my goals, in training and every time in specific competitions. I want to become better and more competitive in my training, and give my best every day,” he explained.
He competed for Greece at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Christou, who competes in the backstroke, was a part of the men’s 4 × 100 meter medley relay team at the Rio Olympics, along with such fellow Greek athletes as Panagiotis Samilidis (breaststroke), Andreas Vazaios (butterfly), and Kristian Gkolomeev (freestyle).
At the 2016 Olympics, Christou competed in the men’s 100 meter backstroke and the men’s 200 meter backstroke races respectively.
For young and aspiring swimmers, he encourages them to “pay attention to their coaches and to respect them. Never give up because in an athlete’s career there are a lot of obstacles,” he said.
“If you are patient and if you believe in yourself, then one day you will reach your potential, and you will become the person that you want to be.”
Christou listed the backstroke as his personal favorite stroke in swimming. “I love the backstroke, followed by the freestyle. I like the individual medley (IM) too, though the only thing is that I can’t swim the breaststroke too fast,” he said.
On being a swimmer in the digital age, he said, “It’s great because technology helps you monitor your swimming technique. Years ago, you weren’t able to do this. By watching your stroke under the water, you see your weaknesses, and in training, you can make adjustments to improve your stroke. That way, you can swim more efficiently in races.”
The Greek swimmer defined the word success as ‘achieving his goals.’ If you are achieving your goals, you feel fulfilled. I believe success is defined by each person individually,” he stated.