THE MAN AND THE SEA
Those lessons led him to a great career in swimming. As a competitive swimmer who specializes in long-distance and open-water freestyle events, his portfolio of victories includes an Olympic silver medal, two World Championships, a World Cup gold medal, and two European Championships as well. A five-time Olympian, Gianniotis has won a total of 15 medals in major international long-course competitions. In 2011 he won proudly the World Open Water Swimmer of the Year award in Shanghai, becoming the first and only Greek swimmer to earn this distinction. Setting as personal sporting motto “Whatever you put your mind to can be realized”, he was voted the Greek Athlete of the Year by a poll of Greek sports journalists in 2012. Highlight also the fact, he was the first torch bearer for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, beginning at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia where the torch was lit using the sun’s rays.
In August 2016, he retired from competitive swimming after his silver medal winning at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.