By Markos Papadatos, Contributing Editor
When asked how Kostas balances an athletic life and a family life, he responded, “It’s a work in progress. When you are doing something that you enjoy and that you love, you are going to make it work. It doesn’t really feel like a job. It doesn’t consume a lot of your time, because you enjoy doing it. It’s a family affair.”
George noted that his proudest moments include sparring in New York’s Madison Square Garden at Henry Cho’s All American Open tournament. “I came in first place at Henry Cho’s tournament and that was a special moment,” he said. “In my high school gymnastics, I was on a team that won five championships. I am proud of all of my individual achievements in high school in the All Around Gymnastics, especially my hand balancing and being able to balance on my brother’s hands.”
For hopefuls who wish to make it in gymnastics and acrobatics, George said, “If you dream it and you chase it, it will happen.”
Their parents are from Sparta and Thessaloniki, Greece. On the Greek-American community in the United States, Kostas said, “We are doing whatever we can to keep the Greek community strong, no matter what. We cannot lose our heritage and our pride in our culture. We cannot lose our Greek-American identity. I am trying to instill that in my daughters as well.”
Kostas added, “We love the ancient history of Greece and the pride of our culture. We love the Olympic Games and the exercise and sports fitness. We were drawn to Greek mythology as kids. Greece was the birthplace of civilization.”
The Konstantakakos duo shared that their greatest influences in life include such noteworthy actors as Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their plans for the future are to someday open their own gym. “We want to continue doing what we are doing,” Kostas said. “Staying fit and healthy as best as we can.”
They defined success as “Being happy in life.” “Having fun with what we are doing, and staying together with our families. Having real friends and good company with friends and laughter,” Kostas concluded.