September 01, 2006

The Pride of Cyprus


I feel guilty and sad. Guilty for not being able to secure a ticket and go with my flags, t-shirts and hats to cheer for our leventis last night.

Sad not because Marcos lost to the Armenian legend but because of the way he lost.

There I was, in front of the plasma TV, using the couch behind me for support in case I fell over, since I was pacing during pretty much the entire first two sets of last night's game.

Then the smile returned to Marco's face and he started pumping his chest - as did I, for fear of some sort of syncopy from what I was witnessing.

Suddenly, a bizarre message flashed on the TV: 'Due to prolonged inactivity, your (satellite) receiver will shut down. Press No or Cancel to cancel this action'. Remote in hand, it took me 13.5 seconds to press the damn cancel button. The wife starts poking me, “hey, wake up, press cancel, I’m watching the game!” Conspiracy theories flooded my mind. Someone doesn’t want me to stay in touch with my heritage… ”katarameeeno Aroksol... oute ena toso da mikro karatsidaki” ...But I digress...

Marcos was pumping his chest and, looking heavenward, smiled at the Big Guy in the Sky, and then there was the volley 3 inches from the foot that hit the net and bounced out. I think Marcos knew this was not his night. He looked towards the Big Guy again, crossed himself, kissed his cross and smiled. He was content and at peace. He played in front of 23,700 rude New Yorkers (really, New Yorkers and rude - is this redundant? I say it’s the definition of rude.)

They booed Marcos when he double-faulted, they booed when he fell in pain and played 2 games basically with no legs. That is rude and unprofessional, but what do these barbarians know?

Marco had the guts to come back against Agassi and he almost won. And he did it alone gamota. Where the f**k where the Astorian Greeks and Cypriots? Not a single flag. Ftou sas.

And then everybody - the rude fans in Ashe Stadium and millions of TV viewers saw the true spirit and grace of Marcos as he congratulated Andre and wished him luck. In the post-game interview, when asked whether he thought it was unfair playing against 23,000 NY fans, he simply said: “a lot of things are unfair in this life. No I don't think it was unfair”. That is class. Despite his young age, Marcos proved himself to be a world-class athlete who plays his heart out and will never give up.

He is inspiring in many ways and reminds me of my son who, from the day he was born, never gave up the fight to live. Almost five years later he is the inspiration for a lot of people.

I had a dream. Marcos was standing there, with no regrets for last night, while I was telling telling him not to worry and that he would get to where he wants. It was as if he was not paying attention to me. My son, who was standing behind me, was whispering to him to never give up. It was a weird dream indeed...my son telling Marcos:
“Don't give up. I never gave up and look at me. I may not be able to pump my chest like you do - thanks to that fine line down to my belly button - but I never gave up. You will get there Marcos”.

I woke up and ran to my son's room. He was still sleeping with his Marcos shirt on and had a grin in his face. I am happy again, knowing that Marcos will make us all proud again and again for many years to come.

What a year it’s been for those of us who desperately needed to feel proud of Cyprus, and one guy did it; with a racket and a heart of gold.

Thank you Marcos. Thank you for showing us the true meaning of being a Cypriot...away from avles and tampourla and deksiwseis.

Humble, on and off the court, you don't need to be riding in tax-free BMWs or cry like a girl on TV and radio. You don't need to wear a tie with Republic of Cyprus emblems. You don't need to be speaking at plateies and over a megaphone to bring out the Greek and Cypriot pride in us.

If those who do all the above believe they represent the true spirit of Cyprus, they need to hear the owner of the Xatzi-omorfos tavern in one of the Paphos villages say 'kavlies sshistes'. Maybe then they might get it ...

Pikifrinos
September 1, 2006

6 Comments:

Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

Finally. A good question: Who's da most famous person from each country? Typical answers: Argentina=Maradona, Sweden=Bjorg, Britain=Churchill, Brazil=Zico, US=Washington?Tom Cruise?Oprah Winfrey?Jordan?, France=Napoleon, Chile=Pinochet, Israel=Ben Gurion, Greece=Kolokotronis?Alexander?Galis?

You get the point, it is typically either politicians or athletes. Now for Cyprus the name that invariably comes up is Makarios.

But thank God for Marcos in 10 years even Cyprus might make the transition from being famous for a politician to being famous for an athlete.

That is progress...

02 September, 2006 09:50  
Blogger Noullis said...

You seem to forget, my dear Apodemic friend, thatin Cyprus we have many famous personnae, some of whom pull strings to have:

- State honours bestowed
- Jobs for their kids secured
- Whores procured (CTO budget)
- Sheftalia ordered

The problem is that the rest of the world has ever caught on and are oblivious to the fact tat these people comand fame and respect.

We are being punished for saying NO in a thunderous manner.

I'm going to have another beer and count the slices of sopressata in the fridge while I'm at it.

To non believers I have one thing to say:

Why don't you lift my black dress and check out this Holy Trinity.

Crap, that's so inappropriate. I better delete this comment....what does this button do, I wonder..

02 September, 2006 12:38  
Anonymous m said...

"To non believers I have one thing to say:

Why don't you lift my black dress and check out this Holy Trinity."

HAHAHAHA ίντα κοπέλλιν είσαι τελικά ρε Νούλλη!

02 September, 2006 22:40  
Blogger Noullis said...

I am deeply ashamed. My behaviour is inexcusable. I hereby apologise to all the blog's readers and urge them not to encourage me.

Yeah, I am the best at being humble and remorseful.

03 September, 2006 06:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

E Noulln ma o Pikis epire tze ta kopelloudkia va douv to Pagdatn sior?
Gio

04 September, 2006 23:27  
Blogger Noullis said...

Sto CT, nai. Giati eitan tipote titsiros o adrwpos tziai en eprepen?

05 September, 2006 03:56  

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