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Stelios Kyriakidis

Paphos - Paphos Sports

Stelios Kyriakidis was born on Statos near Panagia, 10 May 1910 is one of the most popular athlet in Cyprus

Stelios Kyriakidis was born on Statos village near Panagia.

Stelios Kyriakidis ran the marathon in the 1936 Olympics and entered Boston Marathon two years later but failed to finish.

During World War II, Kyriakidis was rounded up with several other Greeks by German soldiers. When the soldiers came across his Berlin Olympic credentials, they released him. All the other men were shot.

He strongly felt that God had spared him for a reason and after the war was over, decided – at age 36 – to re-enter the Boston marathon that he could not complete as a younger man. Despite warnings from doctors prior to the marathon that he could die if he ran, Stelios Kyriakidis entered and won the race on April 20, 1946, in record-breaking time: 2hr 29m 27s. His record would stand until the late 1960s. After finishing the race, his comments to the US media were: Please, don’t forget my country!

After his victory, he campaigned for humanitarian aid for Greece whose economy had been wrecked by war, occupation and civil conflict. He returned to Greece to a hero’s welcome bringing with him aid worth $3,000,000!

Stelios Kyriakidis also competed in the 1948 London Olympics finishing 18th, however, his mark on history had already been made.

The City of hopkinton in Massachusetts, has placed a sculpture showing Stelios Kyriakides running next to Spiros Louis shows him the road to victory, near the starting point of the Boston Marathon. A copy of the same sculpture installed at the City of Marathon, Greece.

stelios kiriakidis

Stelios Kyriakidis died in 1987 at the age of 77, which was the number he wore at the 1946 race that made him famous.

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