Freshman Friday - Konstantina Romaiou

To get to Kansas State University it takes more than 5,000 miles and numerous flights for Konstantina Romaiou when she travels from Southeast Europe to the Midwest. Konstantina is a freshman from the Greek island of Corfu and it is a triple jumper with an outstanding junior career. Last summer at the IAAF World Junior Championship, she took second place with a personal record of 13.55m (44'5). After competing at the major international meets for the Greek National team, Konstantina now prepares for competition in the NCAA. 

How long does it take to come from Greece to the U.S.?
I have to take multiple flights. My first flight is from my hometown, Corfu, to Athens. Then I fly to some of the biggest airports in Europe where I take a flight to the US. It is more than 15 hours in the plane with many layovers.

Why did you choose to study at K-State?
In Greece, with the economic crisis, it is very hard to continue improving. It is a big opportunity because not everybody can get come here. 

How hard was to study in a different language?
It was very hard but I am improving each day. I have been here for one and a half months and my English is getting much better.

What was your best memory?
It was the World Juniors because it was very unexpected. The feeling when you are the outsider and people don’t expect much from you, but then you surprise everyone and take a medal. The moment when you get your country’s flag, run the victory lap and photographers take photos of you is so incredible. I just wish I brought my favorite medal with me to the U.S.

What is your favorite place that you traveled to?
Every country and every place is different. The best was at the Nanjing Youth Olympics Games in China. We went there for a training camp a month before the games started. They also had the opening and the closing ceremony like at the real Olympic Games. Athletics from all around the world were there.  Famous athletes, such as Michael Phelps, were there and they interacted with us.   

What is the difference between Greece and the U.S.?
Everything is different. In Greece, I have a beach and the sea. Here I only have a couple of pools. Here is also very cold, so I will have to buy new clothes for winter. Greek cuisine is very delicious, but I think the closest Greek restaurant is in Kansas City. 

What do you like about K-State?
I love that I can experience different things than back home. I watched football games. I don’t understand all the rules but I am learning about it. Football is in American culture and you must know it. It is an interesting game and everybody talks about football. It is same Europe with soccer.

What are some goals that you would like to accomplish this season?
I would like to jump close to my personal best. I changed everything in my training. You know better when you change a lot of things and you know what works the best for you. After a medal from the World Juniors, there is a lot of expectations, but I would also like to take a medal European U23 Championship. In will also be in Bydgoszcz, like World Juniors, so I am ready to continue where I stopped last year. I am also very excited to compete in NCAAs and I think I can place very high.