submitted by George Poulos on 23.11.2004
As notified in a previous entry, and re-iterated in less detail at the conclusion of this entry - in the year 2000, the Greek -Australian Sports Hall of Fame was inaugurated.
Many athletes of the original 166 are obviously of Kytherian origin - Psaltis's, Samios, Zantiotis, Andronicus: but the place of origin in Greece of many others - particularly those born in Australia - has not been indicated in the biographies outlined in the original list. Determining how many Kytherians were inducted in the original list remains a matter for future research. To further complicate matters, some of the athletes may have had a parent, or grandparent of Kytherian origin. (A good example is Stephen Girdis, inducted for sailing prowess, whose mother is Kytherian.)
From Pinax, The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame, Volume 1, reproduced with the permission of the editor, Steve Georgakis.
Nici Andronicus was amongst the first group inducted into the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame. She was born in Sydney on 10 March, 1972. An all-round athlete, she took up competitive pentathlon in 1985. In 1990, she won both the Australian Junior and Senior Penthlon Championships which were held in Canberra. She went on to win the Australian Pentathlon Championships in 1994.
Andronicus represented the Australian pentathlon team, in both individual and team events, in several World Championships and World Cups (10 event championships), between the years 1990 and 1996. She also raced at Australian level in middle distance running.
Andronicus took up triathlon in 1996, and in her first year was voted World Rookie of the Year, and was ranked fourth in the world. She was an important member of the 1996 Gold Medal winning Australian Women's triathlon team at the World Championships held in Cleveland, USA.
In 1997, her outstanding performances in the sport gave Andronicus a world number two ranking. Between 1996 and 1999 Andronicus was consistently a member of various Australian World Championship and World Cup teams.
As at August 2000, Andronicus was out of competition due to an achilles tendon injury, although she had resumed training.
[Nici has since retired. She performs many PR functions, including extensive work with charities, and sporting associations.]
Questions asked during her peak performances
What is the best thing about being a professional triathlete?
The very best thing about being a professional triathlete is being able to keep a fit and healthy lifestyle — and it’s my job! I’m the luckiest person alive to be able to compete in a sport that I love in exotic and amazing countries.
What skills do you need to become a professional triathlete?
Being a professional triathlete requires many hours of sometimes gruelling training and this really takes its toll on both the body and the mind. You need to be very disciplined and strong, physically and mentally.
Background, Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame
In September 2000, through the initiative of the Millenium Heritage Council, the Church established the Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame in order to record the sporting achievements attained by Australians of Greek heritage who have distinguished themselves at either a National or International level.
The First Inductees
As a result, 166 sportspeople were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, in the presence of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, and the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, during the unforgettable Millenium Ball held on Saturday, 2nd September, 2000, at the Westin Hotel in Sydney.
The evening was a historic milestone that revealed how vast and truly astonishing the contribution to Australian and world sport by citizens of Helllenic descent is, in an amazing variety of disciplines. Sportspeople travelled from all over Australia to attend the memorable event and felt enormous pride and honour at their Induction.
The Commemorative Book
A thouroughly researched book entitled The Greek Australian Sports Hall of Fame - Pinax, Volume I, coordinated by the Millenium Heritage Sports Committee and edited by academic, Dr Steve Georgakis, was also launched on the evening with the most fascinating details about each Inductee's accomplishments.
Pinax is the Greek word for list. It was used in ancient times when referring to the record of the Olympic Games victors whose names were inscribed on a column at Olympia in Greece. This informative book was published with the generous assitance of the New South Wales government through the Office of the Premier, the Hon. Bob Carr. Only a small number of books remain, however, since the interest generated by the concept attracted the attention of Hellenes around the world. It was especially appreciated by athletes and officials during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Committee is now looking forward to the second edition.
[Dr Steve Georgakis is also the author of Sport and the Australian Greek. A Historical Study of Ethnicity, Gender and Youth, as well as numerous other articles on the subject].
Note: The photograph above is not the original photograph in Pinax.
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