October 14, 2022 (Athens, Greece)–Alexandros Nikolaidis -Obituary. Two-time Olympic Taekwondo silver medallist from Greece, Alexandros Nikolaidis ,has died at the age of 42.
Nikolaidis passed away on Thursday (13 October) following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer named nut carcinoma.
The Greek star left a moving message that was released on Friday on his social media pages detailing his fight with the disease.
“I suffered with cancer too…for two years I never said ‘Why me?’”, he wrote.
“There is no more selfish thought than that. It happens to someone, next to us, our neighbour, our fellow man. And it is happening to many now.
“I will tell you even now that I was a lucky man. I had the blessing to make my dreams come true, to get on the global stage many times, to honour my sport and my country.”
“I’ll start with this cliche…I’ve probably left for somewhere better or nowhere.
“For two years, I’ve also been suffering from cancer. With such a rare type of cancer, nut carcinoma, that currently nine out of ten Greek doctors are probably hearing for the first time and will rush to look up.”
The 2008 Greek Male Athlete of the year won his first silver medal at Athens 2004 after falling to Dae-Sung Moon of South Korea in the +80kg men’s finals.
He repeated the feat at Beijing 2008 where he lost to another South Korean, DongMin Chai in the final.
Nikolaidis qualified for his third Olympics at London 2012,where he was the flagbearer for Greece.
The taekwondo star had previously the honour to carry the flame at the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay.
Besides his Olympic record, Nikolaidis won gold at the 1996 World Championships and clinched three European titles in 1996, 1997 and 2008.
Nikolaidis, who also worked as a firefighter, retired from sport in 2014 and served as deputy spokesman for one of the Greek political parties.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
His last wish was for his two Olympic silver medals to be put up for auction, with the proceeds going to a charity benefiting children.
There was outpouring of condolence messages with World Taekwondo saying it was “saddened” by his death.
European Taekwondo Union said: “The European Taekwondo Family is deeply saddened and our hearts go out to his family and children. Alexandros was one of the greatest athletes of his time.”
Taekwondo Life Magazine spoke to Grandmaster Herb Perez, 1992 Gold medalist for the United States about Nikolaidis’ passing. he had this to say, “I am saddened that we have lost an amazing athlete and warrior. He served as guiding light for our sport and for the country he represented. He lived and competed like he fought, fearlessly and with dignity. Generations of young athletes will benefit from the legacy he left.”