The “Golden” girl of figure swimming who danced a syrtaki in Doha and swept the medals
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The “Golden” girl of figure swimming who danced a syrtaki in Doha and swept the medals

Evangelia’s road to the top was never paved with rose petals. Her love for wet athletics since she was a young child pushed her to make many sacrifices from her personal life, a lot of effort and sweat, in order to constantly improve in the sport she loved more than anything else. The vindication of this effort came at the World Championships of wet athletics in Doha, Qatar, where the Greek champion won two medals, one gold and one silver, thus entering the history and the pantheon of Greek sport, as she is the first to win a gold medal in artistic swimming at the highest level.

The amazing effort that earned her the gold

On 3 February 2024, the 29-year-old athlete was competing in the technical solo. The theme of her choreography was titled “black raven” (“black raven”), the music from “Dance of death” and the difficulty rating was 38.9000, the highest of all.

Thanks to her high-level performance, Platanioti received 101.6500 in artistic impression and 171.3133 in performance. In total, she scored 272.9633 points, with which she surpassed the 270.1901 of the qualifying competition. Her excitement at winning first place was obvious. The peak of her pride came when she climbed the highest step of the podium, was awarded the gold medal and sang the National Anthem. All this while, as she told ERT, she had intended to retire from soloing.

“The truth is that words cannot describe the feeling. It’s something magical, something unique and I’m very, very moved. To be honest, last year it was my intention that last year would be my last solo participation. Unfortunately, I had very little preparation. I knew my potential and that’s why I was convinced and said I would continue until Doha. I want to say a huge thank you to my coaches, they were with me last year as well as this year. They were my strength to keep going,” she said after winning the gold medal.

The… “silver” syrtaki

After the gold medal in the technical program of the solo, Evangelia Platanioti won the silver medal in the free solo program at the World Artistic Swimming Championships in Doha.
With music by Mikis Theodorakis from Zorba, the Greek won the silver medal with an excellent program just three days after her huge success with the gold in the technical program.

The Greek scored 253.2833 points and climbed to the second step of the podium, reaching a total of four world medals in her career.

The love for the pools

Evangelia Platanioti was born in 1994 in Athens and comes from Platanos, a village in Orini Nafpaktia. She graduated from the Business Administration Department of the University of Piraeus and from an early age she was involved in sports.

He was only five years old when he started practicing ballet and rhythmic gymnastics. Later, after her parents’ encouragement, she focused on artistic swimming.
Her parents were right, as she fell in love with artistic swimming and decided to dedicate her life to succeed in this pursuit.

“I felt jealous and asked my parents to enroll me in synchronized swimming,” said the Greek world champion, who found in artistic swimming her two loves, dance and water.
This activity proved to be very difficult. “The sport requires a lot of training and skills. We do strength training, fitness improvement, endurance, flexibility, yoga, ballet, acrobatics, running, and aerobic and anaerobic swimming. The training program is adapted according to the season and our needs,” noted Evangelia Platanioti. She also mentioned that a workout can last from 6 to 12 hours a day.

The difficulties

2021 left Evangelia Plataniotis with mixed feelings. The Greek champion won the silver medal in the technical solo, and the bronze medal in the freestyle solo at the European Championships in wet athletics, but things didn’t go well at the Olympics.

Evangelia Platanioti was delayed to Tokyo due to coronavirus, but she competed in the qualifying duet in the free program, but was unable to continue her efforts as she tested positive again!

“This Olympics was a life lesson and a test for me. I cried too much, I had panic attacks, I couldn’t sleep with my phone off as I didn’t want to feel alone in all this, I tried with all my heart to get better so that I could be next to my team, drinking many litres of water, lots of juices, vitamins, good food, meditating and everything else I could do, but even when everything seemed to be going my way like a small miracle, a higher power didn’t want to let go of us… “.

The reality show and the proposal… on air!

In 2017, Evangelia Platanioti took the decision to stop her sporting activities for a while and take part in the reality show Nomads, travelling to the Philippines.
Then, in fact, her -now former- partner had decided to surprise her by sending her a ring with a tender letter, proposing to her.
Evangelia Platanioti was very touched, but she had explained that she was still too young for such a step. And perhaps she was right, since this marriage never happened, as the couple divorced after a few months.