18-year-old bouldering athlete Theodora Kasimidou made all Greek Australians proud after winning gold at the 2022 Youth Climbing Nationals in the junior female category that took place in Sydney earlier this month.
Theodora, who migrated to South Australia in 2014 with her family, has qualified to compete in the 2022 IFSC Youth World Climbing Championships, which will take place in Dallas, Texas, USA, at the end of August and hopes to bring home another medal.
“To me winning this title was really important as it made me feel like all the hard work, sacrifices and effort finally paid off,” said Theodora who will be the first ever South Australian athlete to compete in a World Cup for bouldering.
“I train with the best coaches in the State, and I wanted to make them, my family and all Australians and Greeks proud. I love the sport and I must admit that competing in finals is always a thrilling moment for me because I have my coaches, my parents, my friends and of course my amazing teammates watch me and cheer me on which gives me more strength and determination to keep going,” Theodora told Neos Kosmos.
After arriving from Corfu with her family, the young girl found a new passion in bouldering. She started climbing at Adelaide Bouldering Club in 2013, at the age of 9 and in less than two years she became the first South Australian climber to win a gold medal (Youth Bouldering Nationals, Ballarat) in 2015.
Theodora has won the youth state bouldering and lead championships for five consecutive years ever since.
The determined young athlete is the first South Australian to receive a scholarship for climbing from SASI (2022) and is now seeking sponsors so that she can compete in the 2022 IFSC Youth World Climbing Championships and also train in Slovenia.
ARRIVING TO AUSTRALIA
Theodora’s family settled in Torrensville, after her parents were posted in Adelaide by the Greek Ministry of Education.
Theodora’s father, Christos, taught Greek in several state primary and high schools and also worked as a pastry chef. Theodora’s mother, Marianthi, taught Modern Greek at several schools and at Flinders University while she also held a permanent position at the Greek Orthodox Community of SA since 2015.
The couple recently moved back to Corfu, leaving their two daughters, Eleni and Theodora behind, to pursue their dreams.
While reaching for the stars Theodora completed her studies, excelling at Underdale high school. The young student was awarded the All Rounder and Long Tan Awards, as well as awards of excellence for her results in Modern Greek, Design & Technology and is due to start her academic studies in sports science next year.
“I will continue to train hard, increasing the intensities so I can perform my best in Dallas, but I am hoping to travel back home to Corfu soon to see my parents.
“I have missed them terribly and I am looking forward to sharing my win with them,” concluded Theodora.