THE son of legendary Cypriot marathon runner, Stelios Kyriakides, is in Cyprus to collect two awards honouring his fathers’ legacy.
Kyriakides was born in Paphos in 1910, took part in two Olympic Games (Berlin 1936 and London 1948), and won the Boston Marathon in 1946. The Logicom Cyprus marathon is dedicated to him.
Dimitris Kyriakides, who lives abroad, told the Cyprus Mail that he is in Nicosia for four days, attending two award events to receive dedications to his late father.
The first, ‘The Cyprus Sports Contribution Awards’, was held on Thursday, organised by Akel and held at the ‘Vladimiros Kavkarides’ Cultural Centre in Nicosia.
“I received an award which was dedicated to my father. It is always very sentimental to recognise the legacy of my father,” he said.
On Saturday morning, the Cyprus Olympic Committee will dedicate the conference hall at the Nicosia head offices to the legendary runner, during the 28th congress of the National Olympic Academy of Cyprus.
On display are a number of valuable items which were presented to them by Kyriakides, said his son.
“These include his running shoes with which he won the Boston Marathon, his Boston T-shirt and various certificates and photos.”
He said that he will also donate some more items of sports memorabilia from his fathers’ collection in appreciation.
Kyriakides said that he wants to make the public aware that his father was much more than a marathon runner, and although many believe that his story ended after he won the Boston Marathon, this is in fact where his story began.
“Until he died in 1987, he actively continued to contribute towards sport, apart from being a great runner. He helped to revive sport in Greece and Cyprus after the war, and he built a stadium in the suburbs of Athens, where he trained the youth.”
Kyriakides said that his father was also far ahead of the pack when it came to training, he was the first person to use a stopwatch for pacing in London in 1934. “He also used stretching for training and used a special diet which he tailored for marathon running. He was way ahead of his time,” he said.
Kyriakides said that his father was also a true philanthropist, and the first runner to run for charity and a special cause in the 1940s. He added that in the 1960s and 1970s his father also helped numerous street kids, taking them home, cleaning them up, feeding them and helping them to find schools to attend.