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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 24 January 2015
SPORT 30 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 24 JANUARY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Sotiris Danos - the ‘golden hands’ trainer behind Bernard Tomic’s recovery - talks to Neos Kosmos NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU "He's one of the best therapists in the world," said tennis player Bernard Tomic on Australian TV a couple of weeks ago. The shout out was for none other than the 32-year-old Greek trainer and licensed naprapathy specialist Sotiris Danos, who has been working with the player, helping him to overcome his heavy injuries and post-operation neuro-musculoskeletal therapy. "I am both his physiotherapist and his trainer, and this is what makes the difference in the long run," Sotiris Danos explains. "My profession can do both, so I've initially worked my way to locate the problem and then decided the kind and frequency of treatments needed to strengthen certain muscles." Sotiris treated Federer with physiotherapy during the 2010 Stockholm Open, and the famous tennis master was the one to introduce him to Tomic, who had surgery on both hips last February. Danos, apart from Tomic's fitness, has been responsible for the player's get-serious approach to his tennis performance this year, though the two of them still have their share of fun while working together. "Bernard Tomic has been a lot of fun to work with and has committed to making himself a better professional overall from both a physical and mental standpoint." "He is a very positive young man, with whom there is still work to be done, but so far he has only been improving, getting stronger and moving better," says Danos. When Bernard Tomic first asked for Sotiris' help, the trainer made it clear that he needed to return to Sweden and run his clinic, located in the prestigious Sheraton Hotel, plus a couple of sideprojects that are really important to him. According to Danos, the case of an extension to their current agree- Tennis touchdown ment, which runs to the end of the Australian Open, is still open. "Tomic is very talented and with the right approach and therapy he can rise to being one of the top ten players," Sotiris Danos tells Neos Kosmos. "I will keep an eye on him. We will be in contact but I need to attend to my clients in Dubai and return to Sweden. It means a lot to be here, assisting my player before and during the tournaments in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. We will discuss any future arrangements after the Australian Open.'' Danos has been working at the Sheraton Hotel in Stockholm since his second year of studying physiotherapy, treating celebrities and some of the hotel's most prestigious clients. He got his naprapathy degree in 2006. Naprapathy is a manipulative therapy that focuses on the evaluation and specialised treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. His long list of celebrity clients includes the likes of Hillary Clinton, Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Roger Federer, Real Madrid player Luis Figo, basketballer Kevin McHale, Britney Spears, Kevin Costner and more. Though what is it that makes him one of the world's most skilled physiotherapists? Since childhood, Sotiris has always been fascinated by Nikos Galis' and Diego Maradona's performances, but upon entering the Sports Gymnasium of Stockholm he fell in love with the orange ball and became a key playmaker for Solna Vikings Sweden, though his dream was to play for Panathinaikos in Greece. Unfortunately, a strong back pain that came suddenly, along with knee failure and weak Achilles tendons, kept him away from the action and on the sidelines of the court. Not one of the ten physiotherapists who treated him were able to give a definitive diagnosis, let alone therap After hanging up his towel, he made it his goal to help other athletes. His determination saw him be accepted into the Nordic School of Medical Practice (Scandinavian College of Naprapathic Manual Medicine). "Because I have been through some really rough situations myself, and hav suffered a great deal of pain, I am always working hard and with much persistence to be good at what I do," Sotiris adds. "I have been working fo more than 10 years. Constantly studying, improving my techniques, evolving my methods. I do believe I was lucky as well, having celebrity clientele, but nothing would have come without devotion and work. Hard work." Sotiris Danos is not only an acclaimed trainer and naprapathy doctor. He is also a very successful entrepreneur and founder of Ergoplati - a pillow constructed in order to offer maximum comfort while sitting and which protects the spine. Ergoplati, along with the non-slippery yoga mat and several other training/physio aids, are ergosport's bestselling patented products (www.ergosport.se). The trainer, together with his brother Joanis Danos, owns and operates Edelweis Café & Bistro, as well as the popular Tea Story in Stockholm Galleria, which is expanding into the Mall of Scandinavia. Apart from running his ca- fés, Ergosport, his clinic in the Sheraton, and treating his individual clients, Sotiris finds time to travel to Greece several times a year. Two years ago, he took over Athinaiko Basket and managed to save the team in a time of crisis. But his love for Greece doesn't stop there. His newest project will be a ‘therapy retreat’ for Swedish patients in Greece. "The Swedish government provides people dealing with neuro-musculoskeletal pain two to three months leave from work," Sotiris explains. "The state covers the expenses of travelling to another country with a warmer climate and undergoing rehabilitation therapy. Greece is the ideal place for this." Neos Kosmos found out another thing about the train- Sotiris Danos with Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic. Training Bernard Tomic. Sotiris Danos and Diego Maradona. Danos with world-known DJ Steve Angelo. er. He likes "brushing off the dirt from rough diamonds in South Africa". The profits from Ergoplati go to non-profit organisation Project Playground (www. project-playground.org). The organisation offers children a second chance, catering for education and health support, encouraging decisiveness and initiative taking With Nikos Galis. in the community, fighting child abuse and exploitation. Sotiris Danos keeps reminding everyone he is proud to be Greek. Greece is proud he is Greek too.
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