On the Games, naps, getting his kicks

Updated: July 30, 2004, 1:21 PM ET
By Brian Church | Special to ESPN Insider
ATHENS, Greece -- Ang Christou is an amiable Greek-Australian who kicked balls and butt for 10 years in one of the world's toughest sports -- Aussie Rules Football.

When he was good, he was real good, as shown by one newspaper headline of the time: CHRISTOU ALMIGHTY!

Fans had a unique "woof" chant for Christou, while opposition supporters shouted out "poof." Apart from a serious 18-month back injury, "Woofa" appeared throughout the 1990s for then-top Australian Football League (AFL) club Carlton in his native Melbourne -- and on occasions in front of crowds of almost 100,000.

He was forcibly retired in 2002, and it still rankles. Christou left Australia, chased glory in the United States and currently lives in Greece, a famous sportsman in a city about to be invaded by athletes of all kinds as part of the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Olympics is reuniting the huge Greek diaspora -- Greeks all over the world proud to get back to mother country. A friend working for ATHOC, the Olympics organizing committee, invited Christou back to Athens. And while he is looking forward to attending the Games -- he's been working in Athens for Australian media, covering the buildup to the Olympics -- he originally had hoped to be involved in an official capacity.