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INTERVIEWS

KATERINA TOPOUZOGLOU

PINK "NO LIMITS LIFE"

2011 April

I know it will be quite full of mistakes. Sorry for my poor english, but my greek friends preferred to have an english version of this interview instead of having to use the google translator or any other translation tool, and I wrote it just thinking of them. The responses from Kat and their friends have been translated or corrected just a little bit, or nothing, since I talked with them all in english.

Haz click aquí para leer la versión en ESPAÑOL de esta entrevista.

Recently I met Katerina at facebook and asked her for some pictures for my web gallery. She sent me few and also wrote some details about them. I don't know what impressed me more, the photos or the story behind them, but the truth is that 2 emails later I was quite clear that Kat was going to be the star of my next interview.

Hi Kat. Thank you very much for letting me ask you this interview. Can you introduce yourself to all our readers?

My name is Katerina Topouzoglou.
I'm greek with origins from Constantinople. I'm 34 years old.
I'm a real estate agent in Mykonos, i do rentals and sales for properties.
My company is http://www.topouzoglou.com/.

I use to spearfish all year round, no matter the weather conditions, usually once or twice/week... My team club is called N.O. SYROS, that's an island next to Mykonos.

How does your history begin?

I was always a sport girl. Started with swimming, wakeboard then scuba diving, boxing and finally just spearfishing. The first time i went with Eftihia Pentaraki, a great spearo and an awesome girl, for spearfishing i was huging her dead fishes and kept saying "oh you pool little fish, what ashame to die..." and i was really sad. Then i went with her to Bill Zonomesis' free dive/spearfishing school. Bill is one of the most famous spearfishing guys in Greece. Then the first time i got my own gun underwater and shot my first fish i felt amazingly good! And that's how my story goes.

A friend of mine told me that you were classified 4th in the last National Greek Spearfishing Championship. Is that true? How was it?

I begun competing last year, i have 5 participations till now. During 2010 i took part in all the Greek championships, but i enjoyed the most my participation in the 46th National Greek Spearfishing Championship, 2010, at Methana, not far from Athens, where i was the only girl (the last 56y ears) and took the 4th position with my catches. I got small tunas in no more than 20m depth and i was really calm and still underwater, waiting for them to come in the target.

And not only that. I've read that you were the kick-boxing greek champion for many years...

Yes, that's true. I also do boxing and kick boxing. I was for 3 years the Greek kick boxing Champion!

You got married last year. How was the honeymoon?

Yes, I'm newly married. Well, this photo "Kiss the bride" says it all. I may have been the first bride in the world that has decided to marry and spend her bachelorette doing spearfishing. The fish in the picture in greek is called STIRA and it's quite tasty and delicious. I fished with my 2 colleagues (I'll talk about them later) all the fishes that we ate at the wedding feast and it was quite an adventure. We had a great time!

You leave me speechless, Kat. Just do kick-boxing and spearfishing, or you're going to tell me that you also have time for other sports? And which one do you preffer?

Snowboard, wakeboard, rappel, and everything I can. What would I choose: spearfishing or kickboxing? Wherever my heart is at the moment. I can't decide!

Are you sponsored?

My equipment is from mr. Spiros Kartelias's store in Athens.

Which kind of spearfish do you preffer? And at which depth can you fish?

I do the same... Just stay still and calm underwater and fish comes to you.

It doesn't matter the depth, it's what you see and what you feel underwater, i don't like telling how deep i dive... My preferences in depth are different, depends on my buddy diver. Of course i never dive alone...

Which fish do you preffer?

In Greece it's not that easy to catch groupers (we call them ROFOS) as in the oceans, so i like them a lot.

Your biggest fishes?

Rofos 22kg, Barracuda 18kg, Amber jack 12kg.

Have you got boat? Do you go always to fish with boat or also by swimming just with fins? do you think it's easier to fish with boat?

I have license and experience with motorboats. It's better with boat of course because we can make fun with our friends and hop from one place to another. But i also like being only with fins for 8 hours in the water, i just love being at the sea.

I didn't know mykonos, but i've searched it at google maps... A lovely island!!! This is the same that saying a lot of fishes?

No!!! There's no spots for fishing in Mykonos, we usually travel to other islands for fishing... Where and how? It depends on the company, the weather conditions and my job of course.

Have you ever fished to different places/countries? Where would you like to fish?

I'm traveling a lot to Maldives, Cuba, Thailand, Saint Mauritius, Seychelles, USA and wherever it's allowed i'm trying to do spearfishing. But I like fishing in Greece, because it's difficult, you have to dive deep and find the fish somewhere hidden! I've fished also in Miami -great experience fishing with the sharks next to you- but there's no point of shooting a fish next to you that has no place to hide at all.

Have you got plans for the future?

No plans, i never have, just follow my instinct!

With so much sport... Which's your secret? Any diet? Alcohol? Tobacco?

No drink, no smoke (i hate smoking) but i eat too many chocolates and sweets and of course i was never on a diet, i don't think i need one, i'm happy as i am! Are you asking me that because of this picture? Then yes, i eat a lot!!! Especially after kick boxing training or 8 hours of spearfishing.

Which equipment do you usually use?

I use everything that's comfortable to me but i can't resist using another gun than my PINK one! My guns are all pink, I usually use my light pink 92 cm, one RAPTOR with 2x14'', but the new one and my favourite is dark pink, 115 cm with 3x14'' for my trips abroad. In shallow waters, of course, I use my 82 cm.

Do you know other women that like our sport?

Of course, in Greece there're 4-5 more girls who are awesome spearos! And of course i like a lot Sheri Daye, i had the chance to meet her last month, she's just an amazing girl.

In the next image, Katerina with a (in greek) ROFOS and an OUGENA.

I caught them in very shallow water in Greece, last spring. I got in the water and after 15mins i was holding them. Usually when that happens i quit fishing for that day, since i don't sell my catches, i prefer to stay with my "sea gifts" and continue another time. Oh, all my fishes i donate them to my friends or sometimes we gather all together and having dinner! Lots of fun!

You told us that you do not sell fish... Is it legal in Greece? Do people do that?

I never sell my fishes. I have a great job as a real estate agent and i don't have that need. Money cannot pay me back for all these hours spent in the sea. Plus, i always clean my catches in the sea, i put them in bags and then i give them away (as presents) to my friends. Who can pay me for that? Their eyes when they receive my "gifts" are priceless!

Is Greece a country with a lot of spearos? Has this sport a very bad reputation (like it is in Spain)? I'm not talking about if someone is making prohibited things... In spain, we have bad reputation simply because we kill fishes... For example, I saw that underwater fishing is a sport with good reputation and loved for everybody at Croatia, Mali Losinj... but it's not like this in Spain where, more or less, everybody hate us (our sport). Bad understood ecologic and political reasons... What about greece?

Greece has many spearos, unfortunately we have many illegal guys, i mean: scuba diving with spear gun is prohibited, though many of them keep fishing like that. But in general, no, it's not like that in Greece, we don't have such a bad reputation. Some of the people don't know what spearfishing is, they believe that we dive with tanks!

Who do you usually spearfish with?

With my best friend Kostantis Kousathanas, and his twin brother Panagiotis... I would define them as my brothers under the sea! Or with my friend Phoebe Skotida, who's the Greek Champion in free diving! She's also a great girl, one of a kind! I'm very happy when i'm in the water with her for safety reasons but also because we're laughing too much together. She's a really good spearfishing hunter, too!

Any good friends to think about them now? Would you like to say "so many thanks" to them?

My friend Kostantis in Mykonos who's my fishing buddy. My coach George Dounavis who's himself also a great athlete. Bill Zonomesis, he's the first who believed that i have this hunting instinct and of course he's the one who made my pink gun! Andreas Kostanasios is a very good friend of mine and i admire him not only as a spearfishing guy but as a person too. So that is: some good friends who help me in the difficulties of a championship.

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Well, Kat... And now the final surprise. It has been made with tenderness so I hope you'll like it. And to end our interview, I was able to contact some of the people you have appointed over our conversation. I have asked to each of them if they could tell us How are you? and explain to us some funny stories that they know about you or they have lived with you...

When I asked to Katerina "Who do you usually go to fish with?" she told me "With my best friend Kostantis, who's also my fishing buddy". http://www.nammos.gr/ is his restaurant's web. If you ask anyone in town what the hottest restaurant is around, they'll undoubtedly reply Nammos. It's the trendiest beach restaurant in Mykonos, located down a windy and dusty road on the edge of popular Psarou Beach. Kostantis and his twin brother, Panagiotis, have their videos uploaded here http://www.youtube.com/user/mykonostwins. In the next image, Katerina between her friends.

Hello my friend Kostantis... Tell us, how is Kat?

Katerina, first of all, she is the best couple for safe diving... She likes to have fun with good company, if she doesn't have good company then she doesn't fish or have good time. It is a hobby so we all must do it for fun.

Katerina told me you must know some funny histories with her...

Katerina, in the begging of spearfishing, she could not see the fish, that's why we had a nick name for her (tyfli) that means blind. so we were taking her speargun and pointing the fish just 10mm from the head!!! now she doesn't need our help.

I remember also another time, we were fishing and a friend passed by and he stopped because he saw my boat. And then he came close but i was underwater and Katerina was on the surface with a groupper that she had caught and the friend of mine, who didnt know Katerina, asked her "How did Kostantis catch this groupper?" and katerina said "i caught it!" and he asked her again "Did Kostantis..........?" and then she responsered "if i had mustache you wouldn't ask me again!!!" and he run away.

Regards!
Kostantis

Kat said, literally, "Eftihia Pentaraki was the reason I started to fish". Eftihia was one of the first women who sent me, in January 2010, pictures of herself for my web's gallery (the one dedicated to my facebook's friends, of course). In the next image, both girls with their (famous) guns: pink and gold. She also has something to say about our protagonist.

Hello Fidel, unfortunatelly i dont have pics of me and katerina, i think she has one u can aske her to send u. i am sorry if i have any mistakes, i wrote it from the studio in a big hurry durind videos. I represent the news on the TV!

When i first met Katerina, she didnt like spearfishing!! Yes! she loved the sea but she loved fishes too. About ten years ago, me and my friends invited her sometimes to come with us during spearfishind and she came but only for swimming. And she used to talk to the dead fishes "oh poor fish they shoot u, ohhh!". But as time goes by, Katerina changed! She came a lot of times with me, during spearfishing and one day she said "i ll come for spearfishing too". This wasnt a surprise for me because i knew that at the end she wouldnt stay far from this amazing hobby. And she start shoot her fisrt small fishes, and then bigger and bigger...

I wont forget once that she was at the island of Myconos and she called me very very happy to tell me that she shoot her first lobster!!! I am very proud of her and very happy that she is doing with such a success spearfishing. I can say that i was her first teacher!! Still we are laghing when we remember how she felt about fishes 10 years ago and how she feels now!!

All the best.
Eftihia

Under these lines, Katerina Topouzoglou poses with Phoebe Skotida, a greek champion diver, good friend and good companion for laughs and adventures.

Hi phoebe. You know Katerina very well. How would you describe her?

Well, besides the pretty obvious – you know, blond hair, fat ONLY in the right places, etc – Katerina is a strong and intelligent woman. A bold personality, a kind giving heart, and a good friend. Some very useful characteristics when it comes to spearfishing, besides the fact she's intuitive, decisive, and has what it truly takes to determine an objectively good 'hunter'.

And she's always helpful. Excessively helpful (almost nerve racking at times!). For example when we're heading towards a beach to spearfish, she has this peculiar tendency, to grab my stuff – particularly the heavy ones like weightbelts – and carry them on top of hers to relieve me from the 'burden'! Woman! I know I'm woman, but so are you!

I love Katerina, she's fun, approachable, and you can count on her. But she's no fool. Whether fish or man, you don't want to mess with her, trust me. And since I was only given a few lines to describe her, I will conclude by saying that all of the above, are opinions and assumptions accumulated through are common experiences in the water, the ideal environment to see one person's true colors.

Would I change anything on her? Yes! Her damn pink gun, I hate pink guns.

Phoebe

I met Andreas Kostanasios (GLAFKOS) when I interviewed him after the XXVII Spearfishing World's Championship in Mali Losinj, Croatia, in September 2010, where he was the boatman for Kostas Makris. Katerina defines him as a good friend, always willing to help, great spearo and a better person. In the picture below, both spearos photographed in the last Greek National Championship, where Kat was classified 4th and Andreas 7th.

Hello Andreas. How would you describe Katerina?

Katherine is one of her kind, unick i may say, and that because is very rare to find a person with so pure spirit and instict (in the 21st sentury...) This is the reason i like her as a friend and hunter! She has the hunting idea very high and always is searching anything new about spearfishing, offcourse i never forget the character of her, who is very dynamic, very athletic, good spearfisher and a good competitor too! Finally is a person who always smiling (very important thing for someone who enjoy the sea invorement and everything around)...
One of the best people i know, i like to wish the best for her and offcourse many big fishes always!!!

Do you remember something funny to explain, about her?

Fidel my friend (unfortunately) i dont have anything funny to write about! The only think who maybe is interest (to write) is when i was with her one day, in a coffe shop and talking about (what else?) spearfishing, she listening to me very carefully and after 3-4 minutes i find out that, she is like me (not so good ears because of the free diving) and she understand the words different that i trying to say to her....Finally after many hours we communicate (hahaha i'm just kidding)

Best wishes.
Andreas

In the next image, our protagonist with his coach and friend George Dounavis... and with Bill Zonomesis, http://www.bleutec.gr/. I tried to contact also with both them, searching more stories about Kat, but I could not.

Thank you very much, Katerina. It has been a great pleasure to write this interview for you. Good luck, you deserve it. I hope we'll see you at Vigo 2012 Worlds Championship...

Thanks a lot!!!!! I really appreciate what you have done... I'm honored!
Kisses from Greece and visca el Barça!
Hehehe.

Katerina
http://www.topouzoglou.com/
http://www.facebook.com/sousourada

And these days, while i was finishing this interview, Katerina travels to Athens where she'll be awarded as a "Woman Of The Year" in the Fitness category and she'll be busy for some days giving many interviews to greek TV channels and magazines... Kat, hope you'll say nice things about my web ;-)

And here you can leave your comments about this page. Thank you for using this!

COMENTARIOS

Estos son los últimos comentarios que ha recibido este artículo. Bien, desde esta página puedes:

Nombre y fechaComentario
Fidel
2011-05-24 18:47:15
Òstia, Simon... Que de tant en tant li facin la pilota a un així de bé, dóna molt gustet! Jo també t-estimo, presi!
Simon Grau Ruiz
2011-05-20 12:16:43
En primer lugar felicitar a Katerina por elejir este deporte maravilloso y en segundo felicitar a Fidel por estos reportajes de ensueño y por su dedicacion a buscar por todos los rincones a gente tan maravillosa que practica la pesca submarina, muy emotivo Fidel, un abrazo
Andreas Kostanasios
2011-05-12 14:15:04
THANKS FIDEL!!!

That's all, by now, dear friends. Sincerously, I hope you have enjoyed it and you'll come back to my web to read new stories about this wonderful sport that we all love.

Mil gracias a SalviMar y al resto de sponsors que patrocinan mi web.
SalviMar
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