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Spyridon Louis - Famous Athlete

Full Name: Spyridon Louis; known as Spiros Louis

Date of Birth: 12 th January, 1873

Died on: 26 th March, 1940

Country: Greece

Sport involved in: Marathon, Athletics

Achievement made:

  • Gold medal winner in the marathon in the 1896 Athens Summer Games
  • Career and achievement: Spyridon Louis became famous for winning the first modern day marathon in the 1896 Athens Summer Games . Louis was a water carrier by profession. After his achievement in the Olympics, he became a national hero. Spyridon Louis served in the Greek military from 1893 to 1895. In 1894, after the decision was taken to revive the Summer Games, Greece started the preparation for hosting the first ever modern Summer Games in Athens. Marathon was held for the first time in the 1896 modern Summer Games. Colonel Papadiamantopoulos, Louis' commanding officer during his military service, convinced him to compete in the marathon. Louis finished the qualifying race organized for the Greek participants in fifth position. During the marathon, the race was led by French Albin Lermusiaux in the first 32 kilometer. Then the lead was taken by Teddy Flack of Australia. A few kilometers later, Flack collapsed and Louis took the lead. After entering the stadium, Louis was accompanied by the Greek princes—Crown prince Constantine and Prince George. Louis finished the race in 2::58:50 seconds. Louis was offered many gifts by many countrymen. Even the King offered him any gift he wanted. Louis' last public appearance was in the 1936 Berlin Summer Games. In the Games, he bore the standard of the Greek team during the opening ceremonies. The Greek national hero Spyridon Louis died on 26 th March in 1940.