Place of residence
Enduro Mountain Bike
Profession and educational background
Geoinfomatics & Land Surveying
Years in sport of any kind
I have been involved in sports since primary school.
Mr. Steve Kounis is answering to a series of questions about his sport, his passion, experience and plans. Read the interview and find out about the athlete and the trainer behind his activity as an outdoor/adventure events organizer.
Sports participated in
Well, 4 years swimming, 1 year of basketball, 5-6 years of athletics (oktathlon, which is the pre decathlon). I did these sports while I was in school and but was mostly keen in polevaulting. When I went to study in Serres in the North of Greece I started skiing and mostly snowboarding but even these sports were not extreme for me and you could only be done a couple of months per year. Moving back to Chalkida I started building DH & freeride trails in Steni forest. The good thing is that I can indulge in this sport nearly 12 months per year. It it something I adore and have been doing since 2007. My interest has evolved to enduro mountainbiking and I also organize the Enduro Mediterraneo series all over Greece.
Years in current sport
There (3) years.
When did you start doing your sport and why?
As we extremers grow old we try to find something more suitable for our family way of life. So that is why I turned to enduro mountainbiking which is still extreme but we always try to find more all around trails even for amateurs.
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Life is a free ride
What is the most challenging thing for you to do in your sport?
The most challenging thing in enduro mountainbiking is the constant seeking of new trails and keeping all our visitors to our local trails excited.
What has been one of your biggest accomplishments in your sport?
I used to be downhill racer but just recently have turned to enduro mountainbiking the past couple of years. My biggest achievement is introducing enduro mountainbike races in Greece. We have successfully launched the first enduro mtb race series in Greece for 2014. It consists of 3 races all over Greece (Xanthi, Evia, Pelion)
What is difficult about your sport?
The time you spend in order to get all the events and trail planning details in order.
What is satisfying about your sport?
When an event has finished successfully or you have finished building a new trail the sensation of happiness is just overwhelming, and is just the thing that keeps you going.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Follow your heart.
What are your heroes? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Steve Peat (UK downhill racer), Konstantinos Andriotis (Greek downhill champion) & Jerome Clementz (2013 Enduro Mtb World Champion). I draw inspiration from them because they always push hard and try to go beyond their limits.
How did you learn to train?
I am self taught because when we started going down hills there was no one educated or licenced to provide these kind of lessons or training. Now you can find people who can train you accordingly.
What is your biggest challenge and how do you do manage this challenge?
My biggest challenge was the organizing of our first Enduro race in Greece in 2013. It was something new for us. We had to decode what exactly enduro races were and the way we should plan and get ready for it. With lots of help from friends and family they all helped make it happen.
How important is your equipment for your performance?
What do you prefer to use (brands, etc)? For downhill I use a Santa Cruz V10 and for enduro mountainbiking is use a Giant Trance.
Have you participated in any major/important athletic organizations?
I have participated in the European Downhill Championship in Elatohori Ski resort in 2006. Did not qualify because of an injury.
Why exercise/athletics is important for a person?
Exercise keeps you alive and alert. You meet a lot of new people all the time and you get owerwhelmed with a feeling of completion and that you are doing good to yourself and your body. Exercise is the key for mental clarity.
Why do you think Greece is an ideal place for your sport?
Greece is the ideal place for mountainbiking in general as we are a mountainous country with loads of trails and the best weather ever….People who visit Greece can go mountainbiking nearly 12 months per years no problem.
Can you recommend 3-4 places in Greece ideal for this sport?
Organized teams of people involved in enduro mountainbiking can be found in Steni Evia, Xanthi, Pelion Volos & Lesvos Mytilene.
Our country is ideal for the evolution of our sport of enduro mountainbiking but also any other outdoor sport you can imagine you name it (Nordic Walking, surfing, kitesurfing, trekking, snowboarding, snorkeling etc.etc). As a friend from IMBA told me, Greece cam become “Europe’s extreme sports capital”.