Fanfare for the Common Man
The first marathon was held at that first modern games. It was won by a Greek donkey driver named Spyridon “Spyros” Louis. Of the 30 athletes who started the race, only 7 were able to finish. Spyros entered the stadium to a tremendous roar. He wore sandals that had been shredded and was covered in dust. The finish line had been placed in front of the King of Greece’s throne. Then pigeons were released, hundreds of them, all with Greek flags tied to their feet, flying around the stadium. The Crown Prince went to the track and congratulated the Greek peasant, who became a hero.