Rest in peace, Poly…

Polis Potamitis and Sugar Ray Leonard

I am in shock and deep sadness. I just found out that Polis Potamitis has been shot to death on September 19th, 2005.

Polis was my boxing trainer few years back when I was doing boxing in his gym. And he was very good at that. Nothing stood on his way – neither language barriers, nor physical conditions. He could always communicate his ideas through and get enough feedback to adjust the training for person’s specific needs and wants. And, of course, his gym was always open for us. No matter how old, how fat, how often, or how late we were.

But he was much more than that. He was my good friend. Long gone are the hard times of my student life, when Polis was the only Cypriot adult to help a whole bunch of us – young and stupid kids from ex-USSR. His help was way beyond his gym – he was going through classifields with us to find apartments for rent, he was negotiating better prices for us, he was organizing transportation when we had to move or travel anywhere… He was looking over us. And we could count on him. And we did.

Needless to say that I was very surprised to read that he got shot. 11 times. In the back and the head. Getting shot is not so easy in Cyprus. Only hunters and criminals are getting shot here. And not even many of them. Polis though, from what I knew, was a really nice guy and way above all that. Even the article says that police is rather confused now and that it doesn’t have any good versions of why he was killed and who to blame.

It’s been a few years since I talked to Polis last time. I saw him on many occasions though and we kept waving hands back at each other and saying ‘Hi’. Every time I saw him we smiled at each other with that Remember The Good Old Times smile. Yes, we had a lot of fun together.

Now that I think about all that we did together, I want to run straight to his gym, where the echo of his voice was always breaking the silence – ‘Pamme! Pamme! Isha!’. I want to talk to him about the Old Times and about guys who have left Cyprus long ago and got lost and disconnected in the Big World. And how we were went for that boxing match that started with a couple of breastless girls kicking the crap out of each other while everyone looked frozen still. I want to laugh with him. Like we did when I brought those tremendously huge wooden leather boots for my first boxing training and called them ‘sneakers’. I want to thank him for all the good that he did and probably not even realizing the half of it. But he is gone now…

Rest in peace, Poly. You’ll be remembered.

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