Spyros Louis

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameSpyridon "Spyros"•Louis
Used nameSpyros•Louis
Original nameΣπυρίδων "Σπύρος"•Λούης
Born12 January 1873 in Marousi, Athina (GRE)
Died26 March 1940 in Marousi, Athina (GRE)
AffiliationsAmarousi
NOC Greece

Biography

As the winner of the first Olympic marathon at Athens in 1896 Spyridon Louis’s place in sporting history is assured. Having placed only fifth in one of the Greek trial races, he was not favored to win the Olympic title but his unexpected triumph gave Greece its only victory in a track & field athletics event at the 1896 Olympics Games and Louis was accorded the status of a national hero. Despite the acclaim, Louis returned to his village of Amarousi, where he worked as a shepherd and mineral water seller, and he 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 was acquitted. He remained an Olympic legend and was a guest of the Organizing Committee at the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 2004 Olympic Stadium was built in Amarousi, and named after him.

Personal Best: Mar – 2-58:50 (1896).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1896 Summer Olympics Athletics GRE Spyros Louis
Marathon, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes

Errata

The date of birth given corresponds with Louis' tombstone. However, his official death certificate, which lists the given date of death, also gives him as age 68.