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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 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 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.Olympic Games Marathon image
1912 Kenneth McArthur (South Africa) 2:36:54.8 See image of third placegetter, Gaston Strobino. Olympic Games Marathon image
1920 Hannes Kolehmainen (Finland) 2:32:35.8 See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1924 Albin Stenroos (Finland) 2:41:22.6  
1928 Boughera El Ouafi (France) 2:32:57.0 El Ouafi was an Algerian athlete during the time Algeria was part of France.
1932 Juan Carlos Zabala (Argentina) 2:31:36.0  
1936 Kee-Chung Sohn (Japan) 2:29:19.2 Korean Kitei Song won the marathon, running in Japanese colors because his country was occupied by Japan. See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1948 Delfo Cabrera (Argentina) 2:34:51.6 Olympic Games Marathon image
1952 Emil Zátopek (Czech) 2:23:03.2 Zátopek also won gold in the 5 km and 10 km. See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1956 Alain Mimoun (Algeria/France) 2:25:00.0 Mimoun was an Algerian representing France, like the 1928 marathon winner.
1960 Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia) 2:15:16.2 Running barefoot, Abebe Bikila became the first black African to take home a gold medal in any sport. Olympic Games Marathon image
1964 Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia) 2:12:11.2 Abebea was the first man to successfully defend the marathon title.Olympic Games Marathon image
1968 Mamo Wolde (Ethiopia) 2:20:26.4 See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1972 Frank Shorter (USA) 2:12:19.8 Shorter was actually born in Munich. See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1976 Waldemar Cierpinski (East Germany) 2:09:55 See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1980 Waldemar Cierpinski (East Germany) 2:11:03 See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1984 Carlos Lopes (Portugal) 2:09:21 Olympic Games Marathon image
1988 Gelindo Bordin (Italy) 2:10:32 See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
1992 Hwang Yeong-Jo (Korea) 2:13:23 Olympic Games Marathon image
1996 Josia Thugwane (South Africa) 2:12:36 See video of the medal ceremony.Olympic Games Marathon image
2000 Gezahegne Abera (Ethiopia) 2:10:11 At 22 years old, Abera was the youngest marathon champion in Olympic history. See video.Olympic Games Marathon image
2004 Stefano Baldini (Italy) 2:10:55 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.Olympic Games Marathon image
2008 Samuel Kamau Wansiru (Kenya) 2:06.32 Olympic Games Marathon image
2012 Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) 2:08:01 Kiprotich upset the Kenyan and Ethiopian favorites, and received the second ever gold medal for Uganda.Olympic Games Marathon image
2016 Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:08:44  
2021 Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:08:38  

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