Olive Wreaths for Paris Marathon Winners

The winners of the Paris Marathon were for the first time offered symbolic olive wreaths from trees planted at the Tomb of Marathon.

The 38th Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris was held on April 6. It is one of the most popular marathons worldwide. About 50,000 runners from 100 countries participated and more than 65,000 visitors attended the marathon.

This year, for the first time, the winners were crowned with olive wreaths made from trees of the archaeological site of the Tomb of Marathon. The wreaths had been carried from Greece by Spyros Zagaris, honorary president of the international organization Mayors for Peace, former Mayor of Marathon municipality in Greece and member of the Athens Classic Marathon Organizing Committee.

The twelve olive wreaths were offered by Greece’s Ambassador to France, Theodoros Passas, to the first three winners of the men’s and women’s general categories and the first three winners of the men’s and women’s handicapped categories.

Ambassador Passas came up with the idea of olive wreaths a month ago, after a UNESCO photo exhibition entitled Marathon: Cultural Landscape. To implement his idea he collaborated with the Paris Marathon Organizing Committee and Paris Marathon director Joël Lainé.

Moreover, in future marathons a special ceremony will be held for the transferring of the Marathon Flame to Paris. The flame, after being lit in a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Battle of Marathon, is kept in the museum of the Marathon municipality and is transferred to major marathons worldwide.

In the men’s general category, Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia ranked first, while Flomena Cheyech from Kenya won the women’s race.