The Olympic medallist Alexandros Nikolaidis died of cancer

Alexandros Nikolaidis

The news of the death of the Olympic champion Alexandros Nikolaidis has caused a shock across the Greek sporting world.

Alexandros Nikolaidis, fought for two years with an extremely rare form of cancer.

In his Facebook post, Nikolaidis writes about the hard battle he fought against this rare form of cancer. He talked about his family, his career as an athlete and politics.

"I suffered with cancer too", but as he says "for two years I never said 'Why me'?" The great athlete, referring to his wife and children, said "I was lucky enough to be loved by the most wonderful woman in the world, my gift from God, as her name is, and to have a beautiful family."

"My last wish is for these two medals to be auctioned and the amount collected to be given to structures for children chosen by my family," he concluded in his post.

Alexandros Nikolaidis

Alexandros Nikolaidis was born on October 17, 1979 in Thessaloniki. He was a Greek taekwondo athlete and was named the 2008 Greek Male Athlete of the Year.

Initially the home favourite, he eventually won the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics held in Athens after losing to Moon Dae-Sung of South Korea in the gold medal match.

On March 24, 2008 Alexandros Nikolaidis had the honour to be the first torch-bearer of the 2008 Summer Olympics torch relay. Later in the same year on April 11, he won the European Championship in Rome.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nikolaidis won another Olympic silver medal in the +80 kg category, after losing to Cha Dong-Min of South Korea in the final.

In July 2011, he managed to secure a place at the 2012 Olympic Games by placing third in the 2011 World Taekwondo Olympic Qualification Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan by defeating Liu Xiaobo of China in the 3rd place play-off. He carried the flag for Greece during the Parade of Nations at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

On August 11, 2012 Nikolaidis began and ended his Olympics participation in a "preliminary round" bout against Bahri Tanrikulu. Nikolaidis lost 7-3 overall.

He retired in 2014.

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