March 25, 2004
Kostas Gatsioudis was born on December 17, 1973 in Northern Greece’s Dydimoteiho city. He is an athlete of the Panellinios gymnastics club and one of the most successful Greek javelin throwers. He ranked 10th and 6th at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games respectively. He has earned two bronzes and a silver medal at the 1997, 2001 and 1999 IAAF world championships. He has been a Greek champion for many years. Since 2000, he has been holding the 91.69 metres’ national record. In the past, he also got the junior men record with a 80.30 metres’ throw. He currently works as a fire-fighter.
On his experience as a first torchbearer, he says: “You can not describe what you feel when you take part in the sacred Torch Lighting Ceremony. It is very difficult for me to find the right words. You become speechless with emotion. It was a great honour for me to be selected as the first torchbearer both as a person and as athlete and it was one of the most significant moments of my life. I was told I would be the first torchbearer during my training. It was something I had not expected. What you feel when you wait for your torch to be lit up is more intense than what you feel when you stand up on the winners’ podium.”