Cyprus' First Olympic Medal Won by Sailor Pavlos Kontides
Udpate: The island's spirits were lifted after Olympic Laser sailor Pavlos Kontides, 22, won the silver medal in the London 2012 Olympics.
The final was be held today, with 10 boats competing. Australian Tom Slingsby won the gold during the race held at the Olympic regatta in Weymouth. Sweden's Rasmus Mygren won the bronze.
Deep in the gloom of an economic recession and banking crisis that has led the government to apply for an EU bailout, the mood in Cyprus momentarily brightened as its athletes showed they are true winners.
High jumper Kyriakos Ioannou made it to the finals, clearing 2.26 and overcoming two operations and injuries earlier this year. The final will be held on Tuesday (7.8.12).
Cyprus has sent athletes to the modern Olympic Games held since 1980 but it is the first time it has won a medal. Skeet shooter Antonis Nikolaidis almost won the bronze medal shoot-off in men's skeet in 2008.
The first modern Olympian from Cyprus was Anastasios Andreou in 1896, who competed under the Greek flag. At this time, Cyprus was a British colony.
Cypriot athletes also participated in the original Olympics that started in 776 BC in ancient Olympia in Elis (Eleia), southern Greece. During the ancient games, medals were not awarded, instead the winners were given an olive branch to wear on their heads.
During Athens 2004 the copper for the 2004 Athens Olympics medals came from Cyprus. It was transported to Greece in June 2004 in a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek merchant ship 'Kyrenia" which sank off the coast over 2000 years ago.
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