|Type||Competed in Olympic Games|
|Full name||Michel Johann•Théato|
|Other names||Michel Theato|
|Born||22 March 1878 in Luxembourg (LUX)|
|Died||2 April 1923 in Paris, Paris (FRA)|
|Affiliations||Club Amical et Sportif de Saint-Mandé|
For a long time, Josy Barthel was considered Luxembourg’s first Olympic Champion, but 52 years before his title, Michel Théato won the Olympic marathon. As he represented a French club, Club Amical et Sportif de Saint-Mandé, it had always been assumed that Théato was French. Athletics historian Alain Bouillé, however, discovered that he was born in Luxembourg. Although Théato moved to Paris and lived there until his death in 1923, there is no record that he ever filed for French citizenship. Théato is often listed as a baker’s delivery boy who knew his way through the streets of Paris and took a short cut to the Olympic gold. No proof of this exists, and Théato was in fact a carpenter, but later in life, he worked as a longshoreman.
Personal Best: Mar – 2-42:44 (1901).
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||Nationality||As|
|1900 Summer Olympics||Athletics||FRA||LUX||Michel Théato|
|Marathon, Men (Olympic)||1||Gold|
Year of death also seen as 1919. Both forms of his surname (Théato/Theato) regularly appear on official documents and newspapers. It is impossible to say with certainty which is correct.