Eleni Kelaiditi was tiptoeing since she was a kid. With the support of bwin, she managed to keep the dream vivid.
Sometimes, people just stare where the spotlight’s on. A medal, a record, a great performance that grips the audience. But sports are a lot more than that. They demand sacrifices. They might bring obstacles that no one can notice, except the athlete. There are hardships that seem to be incomparable. But on some occasions, an unexpected factor appears and brings the athlete back on the trail. In the case of Eleni Kelaiditi, this factor was bwin.
Eleni was born in Athens in 2000 and started gymnastics at the age of six. She used to walk like a ballerina and her parents decided to enroll her in a local gymnastics club. One year later, she took part in her first competition in Chalkida and ranked second. Everyone had already started to realize that there was something special with this girl from “Armonia” gymnastics club.
Rhythmic gymnastics became part of Kelaiditi’s life. At the difficult years of high school, she used to go to the class in the morning, then she trained until sunset and afterwards she had to overcome fatigue in order to finish her homework. During the weekends she did the catch up of the week, or she focused on tournaments. Through sports she learned to be a better human being, to work hard and with dedication. And when the success came, because of this everyday procedure, she kept her feet in the ground.
The most important and at the same time most difficult struggle of Eleni was in 2014, during the Baku European Championship. Her limits were tested. She managed to take the 4th position in clubs and showed to everyone that qualification to the Olympic Games was a realistic goal. But to reach the Games, she had to confront difficulties once again. After all, Eleni was a lonely girl, living in the training facilities of Agios Kosmas, with no one to support her.
Bwin located her and became her first sponsor. It was the deciding factor that allowed her to focus on the preparation of the Olympic Games. She couldn’t make it without this boost, since she was in need of financial support to participate in more tournaments, upgrade her gear, even for her daily needs. Unfortunately, Greek athletes face issues that in other Western Countries are solved from the very beginning of the sporting career.
With the support of bwin, Eleni managed to excel. In 2018 she placed second in an individual all-around event at Mediterranean Games and third in clubs at European Championship. She had already started the countdown for Tokyo. “I thought of quitting and live an ordinary life. But I have worked very hard, with a lot of deprivations, for a single goal: The Olympic Games”, she stated in April, when she was in the home stretch for the qualification.
The pandemic of COVID-19 changed everything since it affected every sport and forced most of the events to be canceled or postponed. The postponement of Tokyo Olympics did not affect Eleni. She knows how to face the difficulties and this time she was not alone. Like every athlete of the sponsoring scheme “We support the new generation of Olympic Medalists”. Bwin continued to support them, no matter the difficulties, staying loyal to its corporate strategy.
As a child, Eleni dreamt of a profession that would allow her to travel the world. The faraway trip to Tokyo had to be postponed, but with the support of bwin and her daily strive, it’s a given she will travel to many places.