Paralympian & World Champion
Charalambos Taiganidis is a Greek swimming athlete, Paralympian, and world champion. From a young age, his phobia for water pushed him to swim to overcome it.
Charalambos started his career with Ethnikos Kozani, continued on Aris, and ended up at Olympiakos. His coach is Giannis Nerantzis. In 2002 he won first place in the 50 meters backstroke, setting a new national record. The vision problems that plague him next year force him to jump to category S13.
The following year he participates in the Paralympic Games, which are held in Athens, and wins first place in the 100 meters butterfly, in the 100 meters backstroke, and second in the 50 meters backstroke.
In 2006 he participated in the World Swimming Championships for athletes with disabilities in Durban, South Africa, where he won six gold medals. The sports in which he won first place were the 200 meters mixed individual, the 200 meters backstroke, the 100 meters butterfly, the 100 meters backstroke, the 400 meters freestyle, and the 50 meters freestyle. In fact, in the first 4, he broke the world records so far. In the same year, he was awarded as the best athlete with a disability by the Panhellenic Association of Sports Writers.
At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, he was the flag bearer of the Greek delegation. In these races, he won six medals, gold in the 100 meters freestyle category, where he also broke the world record, gold in the 100 meters backstroke category, where he again set a world record, silver in the 100 meters butterfly category, in the 200 meters mixed category and the category 50 meters free, as well as bronze in the 400 meters free.