Olympic Male Marathon Winners

Below are the gold medal winners for each Olympic Games marathon for men. There is much more about the Olympic marathon, including trivia about some of these winners and history of the marathon. See also the winners of the women's marathon, which has only been held since the 1984.

Year Athlete Time image notes
1896 Spiridon Louis (Greece) 2:58:50
1900 Michel Théato (Luxembourg) 2:59:45 Fred Lorz hitched a ride in a car for eleven miles, and was briefly hailed as the winner until this was brought to notice.
1904 Thomas Hicks (USA) 3:28:53
1906 William Sherring (Canada) 2:51:23.6
1908 John Hayes (USA) 2:55:18.4 Olympic Games Marathon image Italian Dorando Pietri needed help across the finish line, and was declared the winner before being disqualified in favor of Johnny Hayes of the US. See video, and also image of Johnny Hayes.
1912 Kenneth McArthur (South Africa) 2:36:54.8 Olympic Games Marathon image See image of third placegetter, Gaston Strobino. See video.
1920 Hannes Kolehmainen (Finland) 2:32:35.8 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1924 Albin Stenroos (Finland) 2:41:22.6
1928 Bouguerra El Quafi (France) 2:32:57.0
1932 Juan Carlos Zabala (Argentina) 2:31:36.0
1936 Kee-Chung Sohn (Japan) 2:29:19.2 Olympic Games Marathon image Korean Kitei Song won the marathon, running in Japanese colors because his country was occupied by Japan. See video.
1948 Delfo Cabrera (Argentina) 2:34:51.6 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1952 Emil Zátopek (Czech) 2:23:03.2 Olympic Games Marathon image Zátopek also won gold in the 5 km and 10 km. See video.
1956 Alain Mimoun (France) 2:25:00.0
1960 Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia) 2:15:16.2 Olympic Games Marathon image Running barefoot, Abebe Bikila became the first black African to take home a gold medal in any sport. See video.
1964 Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia) 2:12:11.2 Olympic Games Marathon image Abebea was the first man to successfully defend the marathon title. See video.
1968 Mamo Wolde (Ethiopia) 2:20:26.4 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1972 Frank Shorter (USA) 2:12:19.8 Olympic Games Marathon image Shorter was actually born in Munich. See video.
1976 Waldemar Cierpinski (East Germany) 2:09:55 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1980 Waldemar Cierpinski (East Germany) 2:11:03 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1984 Carlos Lopes (Portugal) 2:09:21 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1988 Gelindo Bordin (Italy) 2:10:32 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1992 Young-cho Hwang (Korea) 2:13:23 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
1996 Josia Thugwane (South Africa) 2:12:36 Olympic Games Marathon image See video of the medal ceremony.
2000 Gezahegne Abera (Ethiopia) 2:10:11 Olympic Games Marathon image At 22 years old, Abera was the youngest marathon champion in Olympic history. See video.
2004 Stefano Baldini (Italy) 2:10:55 Olympic Games Marathon image The race was marred by a spectator tackling the Brazilian runner who was leading at the time. The finish was at Panathinaiko Stadium, the stadium used for the 1896 Athens Olympics. See video.
2008 Samuel Kamau Wansiru (Kenya) 2:06.32 Olympic Games Marathon image See video.
2012 Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) 2:08:01 Olympic Games Marathon image Kiprotich upset the Kenyan and Ethiopian favorites, and received the second ever gold medal for Uganda.
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