LOUYS Spiridon (1873 - 1940) Greece / Track and field
Lots of running clubs today bear the name "Spiridon" in honour of the Olympic title won by Louys in the first marathon of the modern era, run in Athens in 1896.The title made him a hero in Greece, a country that has produced few world champion sportsmen in modern times.After his victory, Spiridon, a shepherd, was supposed to marry the daughter of Georgios Averoff who had financed the stadium restoration. But he was having none of it and slipped away into anonymity.But Greeks still use his name to encourage people to hurry up!On his death, his family had no scruples about making some money out of him and sold his gold medal. Mind you, at the time they were made in solid gold! Spiridon Louys made a brief appearance in 1936, when he was nominated the flag-bearer of the Greek national squad.