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Greek EU Vice-President Wants Olympic Marathon Event Run in Athens

November 12, 2023

ATHENS – The marathon that’s the last event of Olympic games should be held only in Athens, not the host city for the games every four years, European Union Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, from Greece’s ruling New Democracy, said.

He rolled out the idea shortly before the beginning of the 40th Authentic Athens Marathon that’s lowly regarded on the world calendar of marathons but run over the same ground as the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens.

He said the EU could propose to the International Olympic Committee and Thomas Bach for the Marathon to be held on its original route, going back to Pheidippides’ running from Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. to announce victory over the invading Persians.

“It is an event that is directly linked to the history of the Olympic Games. It is rooted in history and I think it is a case that, if we claim it together, the municipality, the government, and we from Europe, we can succeed,” he noted.

The idea would likely be met with fierce resistance from the host cities holding the games as the marathon is the final, triumphant event before the closing ceremonies and one of the most prestigious.

It’s also probably too late for the 2024 Paris games because of all the considerations and plans having been made for the Olympics there, including routes and logistics as well as whether the IOC would agree.

The 2028 games will be back in Los Angeles where they were held in 1984 – spoiled by a Russian boycott – and 1932. The 2032 games will be held in Brisbane, Australia and there are 10 bidders for the 2036 games.

After the inaugural in Athens the games were moved around the world instead of being kept in Athens, and there’s been a new push to bring them back permanently as in modern times they’ve been marred by corruption allegations.

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