Limassol pioneering in sports!

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Social Life

On February 3, 1896, a crowd of people gathered early in the morning at Chrysostomidis field, where the Public Garden is located today. With excitement and eagerness, Limassolians and not, got together in the city to watch an unprecedented event. That day, at 10 a.m., the 1st Pancyprian Games were beginning.

The first Pancyprian Games gave Cyprus new, different vibes to the city, which worked as a strong injection after the Ottoman domination. The whole island, and particularly Limassol, responded positively to the lively, athletic spirit. Thus, eager for life, strength and hope, Limassol made big and pioneering steps in sports since then.

A milestone in the sporting sector of Limassol was the foundation of the legendary sports club GSO (Gymnastics Club of Olympia) in 1892, which was the first gymnastics club in the island. A few years later, the GSO stadium was built, which for decades was the only area of Limassol for sporting activities.

For many years the stadium hosted many track races, as well as various social events in Limassol, until 1975. One of the most important competitions held at the stadium was the 2nd Pan-Hellenic Games in 1929, with amazing group and individual games. Limassolians displayed a remarkable sporting spirit back then, rushing to watch the games. The GSO area was transformed into a large, sports park, now bearing the name Fytideion Sports Center GSO.

Limassol has also been pioneered into the women's spirit in athletics, with the Limassolian, Domnitsa Lanitou, being the first female athlete to participate in Pancyprian Games in 1928, but also the first champion of Cyprus to take part in the Olympic Games. Find out more about Limassol's firsts here.

Information: Tasos Andreou, "Limassol – Memory Flashback", 2009, Limassolinhistory
Photos: Pattichion Municipal Museum - Historical Archive - Limassol Study Center, Lemesou Mnimes 

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.