112th Podcast

Podcast Guest “It's a long road” is the professor and runner of short and long distances Dimitris Koukoularis. Dimitris has had a 67% disability since he was young, having his entire right side semi-paralyzed.


Against the doctors' diagnoses that told him that he would not even be able to walk, showing greatness of soul and highlighting the importance of strength and will in a person, he has so far managed to run more than 50 marathons and ultramarathons.

A philologist by profession, he holds two doctorates in philosophy and education. In recent years he has been living and working abroad.

Dimitris is an ideal example of a disabled person who did not surrender to his physical handicap but with an excess of soul and will, overcoming every inhibition and every "theoretical" problem, he achieved the impossible. He could be the best example of active action and participation for thousands of our fellow disabled people who by listening to his story can be inspired and get strength for their own daily struggle.

Podcast Interview Highlights “It's a long road” with professor and runner Dimitris Koukoularis.

13:39 To begin, would you like to tell us something about yourself and what makes your running activity special?

17:49 What prompted you to start running?

19:19 Dimitris, how is it to be told that you may never walk again? When did this happen;

22:45 I read somewhere that you said "As they say after such a misfortune in life you have two choices: "Either you sit and cry your fate for the evil that found you or make a decision and say that I will do whatever it is possible to reverse the situation""

26:43 How many long distance races have you run?

28:18 Another remarkable thing that I know you do is that you like to travel a lot and even combine that with running. Really how many countries have you been to and run?

29:20 Running on asphalt or in the mountains?

30:06 Have you been involved in other sports in the past?

30:45 What brought you to long distances and you weren't content to just run? What led you to this path?

34:26 What do long distances teach you?

38:32 Do you like to push yourself to your limits?

39:37 What has been your toughest race to date?

41:56 Is there a match that marked you and you will never forget?

45:16 How important is it for people with any kind of disability today not to put a "brake" on themselves?

47:32 An EU report states that people with disabilities are less likely to participate in organized sport, compared to people without a disability. Additionally, the same report provides an indication of the importance of disability as a barrier to participation, showing it as the third most frequently cited reason for infrequent participation in sports activities at 14%. Low participation rates occur globally regardless of age, gender, disability category and context (organized sport or recreational). What do you have to say about this?

50:17 Do you think that sometimes the fear of failure, the fear of a bigger injury, or personal perceptions and beliefs, as well as insufficient information about places and programs are reasons to prevent someone with a disability from engaging in sports?

52:08 Could a sense of belonging in society possibly facilitate the breakdown of barriers faced by people with disabilities?

53:07 How important is support from the family environment? Is it important for the family to encourage the person with a disability to play sports and to support this choice?

53:55 Has running and sports made you stronger?

56:13 Are there any people who have influenced you throughout this journey?

58:30 What would you say to our listeners who have some sort of disability and are hesitant to take up running?

Dimitris Koukoularis

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T-shirts are All Over Print, you will each be able to have your own name on the back, while the material used will be the best for runners, with technology Dry-Fit and Cool Max.

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