#2 The first official marathon
With the modern Olympics being re-instituted in Athens in 1896, the organisers were eager to have an event that would take a leaf out of history and that is when Michel Bréal, a French scholar came up with the idea of a marathon, taking inspiration from the legend of Pheidippides.
There were a total of only 17 competitors, out of which 13 were of Greek nationality while the rest 4 were foreigners. A man named Spyridon Louis, a water carrier by profession who had some sort of military training emerged as the winner in a race which saw two race leaders collapse.
Such was the pride among his countrymen that two Greek princes ran alongside Louis for the two penultimate lap to cheer him and finally when he did win, he was warmly greeted by the King of Greece. The King asked Louis to ask for whatever he wanted as a reward and the simple man made a humble request of a new waggon to carry water.Published 21 Feb 2017, 17:25 IST