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Meet Kristian Gkolomeev: World silver medalist, Greek swimmer Special

2019 world silver medalist swimmer Kristian Gkolomeev chatted with Digital Journal about his swimming career, proud moments and competing in the International Swimming League (ISL).

On being a part of the inaugural ISL, he said, "It was very nice even in its first year. I think it's going to be amazing in the future."
Gkolomeev enjoyed competing for the Aqua Centurians swimming team with Alessandra Guerra as the General Manager. "Everything was very organized and really great. We just had fun."
He also praised Apostolos Tsagkarakis, former Greek champion and Technical Director of the ISL, for being a good friend and an incredible guy.
This past summer, Gkolomeev won the silver medal for Greece in the men's 50 meter freestyle race (with a time of 21.45 seconds) at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. "That was amazing. That was the best swimming performance in my career," he said. "In the previous world championship, I came in seventh place and this time, I wanted something better than that. I was really happy and it gives me the motivation to swim better and faster and go for bigger goals."
Speaking of motivations, each day Gkolomeev is driven by his ambition to someday win an Olympic gold medal. "I am really training hard for that here in San Diego," he said.
The 26-year-old Greek athlete had nothing but the greatest remarks about his swimming coach David Marsh of Team Elite Aquatics. "It is amazing to train with him. He is very good and very technical. It's a lot different in San Diego than training in Greece. In America, you have a group of 20 to 25 people to train with every day and that is really important. Everybody that you train with has the same goals, and that is to achieve something big. We have a really good team right here and everybody is pushing each other. We have great facilities and great weather," he said.
Gkolomeev listed freestyle as his personal favorite stroke in swimming. "The 50 meter freestyle is my favorite, but I also swim the 100 meter freestyle too," he said. "I also enjoy the butterfly, especially the 50 meter butterfly."
For young and aspiring swimmers, Gkolomeev encouraged them to "never give up" and to "follow their dreams." "Swimming is easy to fall in love with. It's a great sport," he admitted. "If you love swimming, keep training hard," he added.
Regarding the impact of technology on the sport of swimming, he said, "Technology has changed it a lot, and I see that a lot here in the United States. Technology is very helpful in training since it gives you immediate feedback with your technique and stroke both underwater and above water."
Gkolomeev also opened up about his Greek background. "I grew up in Heraklion, Crete. It was amazing growing up there. I loved it. After my father passed away, I moved to Athens with my uncle and my aunt, and I really launched my swimming career over there. I was training in Heraklion but it was really for a hobby and after I moved to Athens, I took my training more seriously, and that was where I fell in love with the sport," he said.
He subsequently earned a scholarship to The University of Alabama, and while in college, Gkolomeev was an NCAA Champion. "I went to study there and I swam there," he said. "Apostolos Tsagkarakis went to that university, so when I went there, I broke his records, which was really ironic. It was nice since a lot of Greeks went to The University of Alabama."
For his fans, Gkolomeev expressed his sincere appreciation. "Thank you for supporting me. The love and support mean a lot to me since they give me happiness and the energy to keep going," he concluded.
To learn more about world-class Greek swimmer Kristian Gkolomeev, follow him on Instagram and check out his Facebook page.