By: Markos Papadatos, Senior Editor
Greek water polo player Alex Athimaritis chatted with HNA’s Markos Papadatos about his latest endeavors, career-defining moments, and the digital age.
He is drawn to the sport of water polo for several reasons. “The thing I love the most about water polo is the passion that I share for the sport and the competitive nature of the game. Specifically, I like how the game combines different elements such as wrestling, swimming, and high levels of technique in a fast pace game,” he said.
On his daily motivations as an athlete, he said, “Personally, what motivates me as an athlete is to sharpen my craft and my skills to become better every day. Ultimately the goal is to win and to be successful in any situation you are in, so for me that is the part that motivates me the most every day.”
Regarding his future plans, he shared, “My plans for the future, unfortunately, don’t include water polo as much as they used in the past. I think it must be the time when I stop my career in Water polo and start a new adventure. I look forward to starting my career working in the corporate environment and starting a new challenge in my life. Unfortunately, all things come to an end and the next cycle of my life will start soon for me.”
On being an athlete in the digital age, he said, “In general for all sports I think being an athlete in the digital age is such a privilege as nowadays athletes get the opportunity to be seen and heard on different platforms and that gives them the opportunity to promote not only their sport but also themselves.”
“I strongly believe that this is very exciting for the new athletes as it opens a lot of opportunities but also is a great danger as it causes distractions that sometimes are unnecessary,” he said.
For young and aspiring athletes, he said, “My advice for young and aspirating athletes is that everything is possible, everyone has an equal opportunity to accomplish their goals in water polo because of the nature of the sport. Through hard work, dedication and perseverance I believe that great things will happen. If you are patient enough and a little bit of luck is on your side I believe you are set to achieve a lot of accomplishments in your career.”
On his career-defining moments, he said, “I definitely think I had some moments in my career that defined me. First and foremost, I think my decision to study in the US was a crucial moment in my life as it drastically changed my perspective on how I think about life but also about water polo.”
“Coming to Los Angeles, I got to experience a new style of water polo that I wasn’t accustomed to but also I got to experience a cultural change in the team dynamics but also in life as well. I definitely struggled, in the beginning, to get used to all the new variables (college, style of water polo, and life) but that defined me as a person because I got to experience growth and change at the same time which I found to be very important for me as an individual,” he elaborated.
He opened up about his proudest professional moment. “Well, definitely my proudest accomplishment was that I got the opportunity to participate and represent my country in the Junior World Championship in Kazakstan in 2015 with the Greek National Team,” he said.
“I feel like this is the ultimate accomplishment, representing your country for me is very important and I take great pride in it. We did manage to get fourth place but we didn’t manage to get ourselves in the medals.”
On his definition of success, he said, “The world success for me means that I am able to impact positively the life of my family and friends but also be able to impact the people around me.”
“More specifically, I would say being successful in my eyes would be achieving most of the goals I am setting in my life on a personal, academic, professional level. It doesn’t matter how big or small the goals might be, they are getting you one step closer to becoming what you ultimately want to be as a person,” he said.