Greek rower top athlete of the year
The annual sports awards in Greece have named rower Katerina Nikolaidou as the top Female Athlete of the Year for 2013.
Nikolaidou had a stellar 2013 by taking medals at both the senior and under-23 level. The 21-year-old started off the season by winning the lightweight women's single sculls at the European Rowing Championships. She then went on to become a World Champion in the under-23 lightweight single and then capped it off by taking silver against her senior counterparts at the 2013 World Rowing Championships.
This was Nikolaidou's first season competing as a lightweight rower and it proved to be a successful move. Prior to 2013 Nikolaidou mainly competed in the open women's double sculls including the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta for the London Olympic Games.
The sports awards are decided by all of Greece's professional sports journalists through a secret vote. For the category of Greek Female Athlete of the Year, NIkolaidou was in her own league with easily the greatest number of votes. The rower collected 1841 votes while the next best, fencer Vaso Vougiouka received 841 votes and wrestler Maria Prevolaraki got 723 votes.
The awards ceremony was held at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus and was broadcast on television as well as widely covered by the print and electronic media.
“It takes patience, passion, psychology and above all strong will, to become a champion,” Nikolaidou stated when she collected her award from the Secretary General of Sports, Kyriaki Giannakidou.
Nikolaidou received much applause from the audience which included fellow athletes, officials and state delegates.
In 2014 Nikolaidou will go into her sixth season at the international level.