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CHARITONIDIS Apostolos
Sport Para athletics
NPC Greece   
GenderMen
Age37
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
F38, T37
Further Personal Information
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Greek
Higher education
Engineering - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki: Greece
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He began practising Para sports at age 26. He competed in Para swimming before switching to Para athletics.
Why this sport?
He was keen on sports prior to his bone marrow transplant. "I was struggling as a volleyball head coach in Ampelokipi, Greece, when I was diagnosed with leukaemia. 'I'll be back', I said to myself over and over again. A year after the transplant, I began to work out."
Club / Team
Megas Alexandros 1994: Greece
Name of coach
Ilias Athanasiadis [personal]
General Interest
Sporting philosophy / motto
"In life, the winner is the one who is fighting for it." (Facebook page, 08 Sep 2019)
Other sports
He has represented Greece in Para swimming, and won gold in the 50m butterfly at 2013 World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa. (Facebook page, 08 Sep 2019; odromeas.gr, 2016)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (metrosport.gr, 09 Jun 2019)
Impairment
He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2006, and underwent a bone marrow transplant a year later. (Facebook page, 08 Sep 2019)
Other information
RECLASSIFICATION
He initially won gold in the T37 shot put at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. However, his impairment was later reviewed and the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] made the decision to reclassify him as at T38 athlete. As a result he was disqualified from the T37 shot put event and lost the medal. (globoesporte.globo.com, 11 Nov 2019)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
He serves as an ambassador for the Association of Friends of Children with Cancer [ELPIDA] in Greece. "I think I have a moral obligation to identify all my athletic successes with one purpose. Wherever I read about leukaemia, they were all about pain, sadness, misery, death. I want to become a living example for every sick child and for every patient. My identification with the children is the motivation to urge people to become aware of the voluntary bone marrow donation. Being an ambassador of ELPIDA is part of my struggle and reinforces my desire to set greater athletic goals." (metrosport.gr, 09 Jun 2019; allyou.gr, 20 May 2019)

MEDAL DEDICATION
As an ex-volleyball player, he dedicated his gold medal in discus from the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, to the late Greek volleyball player Nikos Samaras who passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2013. In October 2017 he presented the medal to the mayor of Orestiada, the hometown of Samaras. (sportsaddict.gr, 31 Oct 2017; sfirixtra.gr, 29 Oct 2017; e-evros.gr, 27 Oct 2017)

Competition Highlights (historical)
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
4 2019 Shot Put F38 14.96
European Championships
Rank Year Event Result
1 2018 Shot Put F37 15.28
3 2018 Discus Throw F37 43.61