By Christina Katsantoni

Lefteris Petrounias, the Gold Olympian of artistic gymnastics has already made it to the hall of fame in the rings.  

After winning a fifth gold medal at the European Championships in April 2021, he became the athlete with the most gold medals in the history of the competition, while at the same time, he is one of the three athletes in history who have won three gold medals at the World Championships. 

His absolute dominance in the rings was sealed with winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, with a score of 16,000. Lefteris Petrounias or otherwise the "Lord of the rings" according to the international press, was born in Nea Smyrni and started exercising at a very young age.

Watch the Leaders Talk Here


He won the first medals when he was still in elementary school, and since then he hasn’t stopped collecting distinctions at national and international level. 

His journey to the top, which began in 2009 when he won his "idol", Demosthenes Tampakos, continues successfully after the serious surgery on the shoulder, which he underwent in 2018. 

Since February 2015, the competent committee of the International Gymnastics Federation has named an exercise in the rings after him, which he performed at the European Championship in Bulgaria.

In his Leaders Talk, the ultimate master of the rings, Lefteris Petrounias, looks back on his journey from the first day he entered the gym, until the moment when his whole life passed before his eyes when he heard the national anthem at the Olympic Games. He talks about challenge and loss, explaining how he managed to emerge victorious from an operation which could have put an end to his career in sports.