Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Champions" -scene 11

         A race on some American street
and the winner swift of feet.
While I was watching the picture with this charming girl,
my mind in a whirl, in a twirl,
traveled to the past,
to a great marathon runner, one memory, unsurpassed..

Pan-Cyprian games,

Υear one thousand nine hundred and thirty-two
and an athlete that our made our nation's heart grew
Kyriakides won both the 1,500 and 10,000 meters on Friday
followed by both the 5,000 and 20,000 meters on the same day.

Olympic games

The 1936 Olympics was held in Berlin, Germany,
many warlike and many pacifist, obvious disharmony.
Over 5,000 athletes from 51 nations marched carefree,
with Greece leading the whole parade....Hellas the nee !

Kyriakides participated on the Greek team,
but the dream for a medal remained just that, a dream.

Status of Stylianos Kyriakides at 1-mile 
marker of Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

An almost mythic race performance
that for the Greeks had huge importance...
According to Life magazine he shouted 'For Greece'
                                          [as he crossed the finish line.

Thousands of miles away, a whole nation drunk
                                               [from a magical wine

Nearly a million people greeted him on his return home,
like A triumph, the parade, followed every
                                    [major victory in ancient Rome...

 to be continued

                                             A Rap Opera or Hip Hopera 

Story Script scene-by-scene
____________________________________________  by Odysseus Heavilayias

Language adjustments and text adaptation Kellene G Safis
Digital adaptation and text editing Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga

 Stylianos Kyriakides crossing the finish line in Boston 1946.

* Hellas is the original name for Greece, used as an archaic or poetic form in English, and to render the native Greek name Ἑλλάς (Hellás, Modern Greek Ellás).

In 1942 he is arrested by the Germans to be executed by hanging, because of reprisals. He is let free when the arresting German officer sees his Berlin Olympics ID card that he always carried with him.

Kyriakides won the 1946 Boston Marathon. In order to get there, he had to sell his furniture, enabling him to buy a single ticket. According to a newspaper report, he was running with Johnny Kelley near the end, when an old man shouted from the crowd, "For Greece, for your children!" inspiring him to pull away and win the race in 2:29:27 best time in the world for 1946

"The winner of the 50th Boston Marathon, Kyriakides used his victory as a call to action to aid his war and famine-ravaged homeland. Kyriakides, who narrowly escaped execution during World War II during the Nazi occupation of Greece,

He hadn't run in six years when he came to Boston in 1946, with the help of Greek-American benefactors (George Demeter and Spear Demeter). He was emaciated from the lack of food in war-ravaged Greece, and at one point was told by doctors in Boston he wouldn't be allowed to run because they were afraid he would die in the streets. That backdrop only added to the almost mythic race performance, in which Kyriakides came on at the end to defeat the defending champion and set the best time in the world for 1946. Nearly a million people greeted him on his return to Athens in May 1946, when he came back with boat loads of food, medicine, clothing and other essentials donated by Americans who read of his victory."

A sculpture of Kyriakides called "The Spirit of the Marathon" was unveiled in Boston in 2004. It is at the 1-mile mark of the marathon in Hopkinton. It was commissioned by the Hopkinton Athletic Association and was dedicated in 2006 to mark the 60th anniversary of Kyriakides' victory in the 1946 race.

In May 1947, a year after his victory and as a result of the publicity was given to the economic problems of Greece, as aresult of the Boston Marathon, US government send an amount of $ 400,000, before the Marshall Plan.

Greek American George Demeter, Massachusetts lawmaker, holds the laurel wreath.

Wearing bib 77, his time was 2h 29m 27secs, best time in the world that year and European record

Pay attention at the stop watch in his wrist. 

First long distance runner, to use wrist stop watch to pace himself.

The documentary of NBC “Stylianos Kyriakides, the journey of a warrior” won the EMMY award in 2004

Disney films, is now producing the life story of Kyriakides, in a full length film


  the foreigner  

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