Friends and family have been left reeling after a 23-year-old fully vaccinated man died with Covid and one mate has revealed his biggest regret.

Mathew Murphy and Lauren Ferri4 min readJanuary 7, 2022 – 12:40PM


The Greek-Australian community is in shock after the death of a 23-year-old fully vaxxed man who suddenly passed away in Sydney with Covid-19.

James Kondilios was a science graduate and champion power lifter who was double-vaccinated with no underlying medical conditions.

He died at St Vincent’s Hospital where he had been receiving treatment for the virus after suffering severe complications.

Tributes are flowing for the 23-year-old online, with shattered friends and family pleading with young Australians to take the virus seriously.

James Kondilios was double vaccinated and just 23.

James Kondilios was double vaccinated and just 23.

Friend and colleague of Mr Kondilios, Stephen Ma, issued a heartbreaking tribute on Facebook, saying he could “still see his friend everywhere”.

“I regret that I didn’t hug you even harder the last time we saw each other,” Mr Ma wrote.

“The years I spent with you will always be a great part of my life…I feel so lucky to have you in my life, even if it wasn’t for as long as we would have liked.”

Wrestling communities across Sydney have posted touching tributes to the 23-year-old, with the Sydney Uni Wrestling and Grappling Club saying Mr Kondilios was a “great wrestler”.

“A great wrestler and even better human being, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones at this time,” the club wrote.

ACT Wrestling also issued condolences to the promising and “loved member” of the community.

“James was a well respected and loved member of the Canberra wrestling community. He will be sorely missed,” Ben Keaney wrote.

Andrew Mitchell described the 23-year-old as “one of the nicest and most genuine people” he had ever met, saying his friend was intelligent, a true listener, loyal and “fair to everyone around him”.

“He was the type of man who makes an instant positive impression,” Mr Mitchell said.

James Kondilios, centre, with then Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

James Kondilios, centre, with then Agriculture Minister David Littleproud.

“To Konda’s family – you can be so, so proud of the man you raised and the positive difference he made to the world in just 23 years.”

“The world is a poorer place without Konda.”

Julia Adamcewicz said her friend was supportive of everyone around him and would do “anything for people close to him”.

She wrote that her friend’s death was a stark reminder “even the strongest and wisest can be taken from this world before their time”.

“Yesterday was a reminder that this battle with Covid we have all been a part of for the last few years is not something to be taken lightly as even the healthiest people can be taken far too young,” the young woman said.

Mr Kondilios grew up in Sydney, where he attended Waverley College, and in 2019 won a Science and Innovation award for his work on forestry and climate change.

The 23-year-old was a dedicated scientist, recently living his dream working in data at the Department of Social Services in Canberra.

He was also a keen powerlifter, winning two bronze medals at the 2015 World Power Lifting Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

James Kondilios has died with Covid at just 23.

James Kondilios has died with Covid at just 23.

“A proud Waverley student, we hear he wore the Waverley sports shirt under his official Australian track suit for the presentation,” the school posted on social media at the time.

His friends said his death was a reminder to all that Covid can strike even the young and healthy.

“He had received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and had no known underlying health conditions,” NSW Health said in a statement.

“NSW Health expresses its sincere condolences to their loved ones.”

NSW recorded 34,994 and six deaths on Thursday.

A further four men and one woman aged in their 60s, 80s and 90s also died from the virus overnight.

Two were from the Lake Macquarie area and three from Western Sydney.

There are now 1609 people in hospital with Covid, 131 of which are in intensive care and 38 on ventilators.