Spyros Louis, the first marathon race winner of the Modern Olympic Games in 1896

Modern Olympic Games 1896

Spyros Louis (January 12, 1873 - March 26, 1940)

Born in Marousi in the North of Athens, he was a Greek soldier and later won the Gold Medal in the Marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

Born into a poor family, Louis was a water carrier for his father. Following his Olympic victory, the King told Louis he could have whatever he wanted, and all he had to do was ask, to which Louis replied - a donkey to help me carry the water.

marathon
Spyros Louis, the first marathon race winner of the Modern Olympic Games in 1896 1

Louis returned to his village of Amarousi, where he worked as a shepherd and mineral water seller and never raced again. He later became a rural police officer but lost his job when he was imprisoned on charges of falsifying military documents in 1926. He spent more than a year in jail before his trial on 28 June 1927, when he was acquitted. He remained an Olympic legend and was a guest of the Organizing Committee at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

The Olympic Stadium in Athens is named in his honour.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-58:50 (1896).

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