People of Central – Chrysoula Kondyles

Story by Janna Salimovic

Photo courtesy of Sierra Dooley

Putting on cleats at the age of three helped junior Chrysoula Kondyles guide her through her crazy, family-filled life. Kondyles is studying early childhood development at Central Michigan University, and grew up in Clarkston, Mich.

Growing up with her Greek family is what not only helped shape Kondyles into the person she is today, but also helped her get into her favorite sport.

Her grandparents immigrated here from Greece and both of her parents are Greek. This is what makes Kondyles 100% Greek and proud.

Kondyles first got into soccer 17 years ago, thanks to her big brother who inspired her. After she saw him playing recreational soccer when he was five, she knew she wanted to play on his team. Kondyles compared her life growing up Greek to the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

“From the moment of birth, chaos instantly breaks out in the family. Everything about growing up in a Greek family is pretty hilarious to most people,” Kondyles said.

Her family has always been supportive of Kondyles. They would come to every game and cheer her on.

“They were very loud, like Greeks usually are,” she said.

Kondyles’ teammate, Sarah VanSipe, describes her as a committed player with enthusiasm and drive. Senior VanSipe from Traverse City, Mich. studies speech language pathology at CMU. She said Kondyles is a supporting teammate and leader.

“She strives to become better every day by putting in 100% at each and every practice,” VanSipe said.

Throughout her experience on the women’s club soccer team, Kondyles learned that it requires commitment. She added that she finds it very hard to fit other extracurriculars in her schedule.

Throughout her life with her crazy Greek family, Kondyles has used her experiences as a stepping stone to building relationships through her future.