Tsiavou is competing with 2009, 2010 and 2011 under-23 World Champion Christina Giazitzidou. A medal for the duo – of any colour would be significant – it would be the first Olympic medal won by Greek women in rowing. This duo is going after gold. 

Tsiavou made it clear how much these Games meant to her: “First and foremost, we feel very proud about representing our country. It is the top Olympic sport in Greece. But sometimes we also feel a lot of pressure as others expect a lot of us, particularly as we have been successful over the past three years. In order to deal with this we try to be calm and just do things in our own way, as all the expectations can be distracting. We try to stay focussed as we want it as much for ourselves as they want us to perform.”

This is Tsiavou’s second Olympic Games. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Tsiavou finished fifth in the lightweight double with partner Chrysi Biskitzi, an achievement Tsiavou classes as ‘a career highlight.’

“The first time is always the first time. I’m not as excited as I was feeling in Beijing, but I really like the atmosphere here and I have really enjoyed the last few days,” says Tsiavou. 

For Giazitzidou, this is her first Olympic Games and she is ‘very excited.’

Rivals to a Greek gold medal in this boat class come from Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking of Great Britain, Denmark’s Anne Lolk Thomsen and Julianne Rasmussen and China’s Xu Dongxiang Huang Wenyi. Tsiavou and Giazitzidou try not to think too much about the competition.

Giazitzidou remarked: “We do not focus on our rivals, we just focus on ourselves, there’s nothing more we can do.”

Tsiavou confirmed this: “The first step is for Christina and I to be at our best. The second step is looking at what the others are doing – the most important thing is to make sure I am happy with what I’m doing.”
The duo should be pretty happy with what they are doing so far. They have been rowing together since 2009, becoming 2009 and 2011 World Champions. Both in a boat together or apart from each other, their racing records are impressive.