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the Cyclovoros stream

1894- 1895. In Athens. Rendezvous with glory.

The establishment of the first gym in Athens

Grappling with fate is like meeting an expert wrestler: to escape, you have to accept the fall when you are thrown. The only thing that counts is whether you get back up.

Deng Ming-Dao

While Coutalianos was in Istanbul, he received an invitation from Greek state officials to go to Athens to actively participate in the organization of the first Olympic Games to be held in 1896. The athlete is overwhelmed with joy because he thinks that his efforts are finally justified, but when he arrives in Athens he quickly becomes disappointed. He gets tangled up in the cogs of bureaucracy and is given a position that does not befit his reputation and abilities. He refuses to take on the tasks assigned to him and decides to set up his own gym, in an outdoor space that was located almost opposite the archaeological museum of Athens, on a street that was then called Cyclovorou (Featured image: Cyclovoros stream in old Athens) and today is called Marnis . There  he began to train several athletes, both Athenian and others who had come from Cyprus and Asia Minor. Among the athletes he happened to train was Georgios Tsitas who in 1896 became the second Olympic champion in the wrestling event.  Despite this, Panagis gave up training other athletes relatively soon and decided to continue his tours in various cities of Greece.

The SCRIP newspaper logo. August 14, 1894
In the ΣΚΡΙΠ newspaper, a letter from a wrestler named Monsieur Geroge is published. Both from the name and from his foreign accent we understand that he was a foreigner and probably from France. Based on what is written in this letter, the French wrestler is betting that he can beat any opponent as well as Coutalianos himself whom he claims to have already beaten once. This  particular wrestler must have been one of the itinerant athletes of that time, but what he mentions should not be taken for granted since it is not confirmed by other  sources of that time.

On the left the German wrestler Carl  Schuhmann winner and Olympic gold medalist. On the right the Greek wrestler George Tsitas, who was trained by Coutalianos.
Schumann beat M. Tsintas. The match had been played on November 4, 1896 in front of 55.000 fans.
( posted 01-14-2020 11:54 AM Phil Lions )
December 2, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the Tsocha theater.
The summer theater “Tsocha” in Piraeus port.

The businessman A. Tsochas (1840-1904 ) was one of the pioneers of Greek entertainment. Among the great artist and great talents that his theater hosted was the athlete Coutalianos.

October 3, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the “Paradise” theater.
December 6, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the Tsocha theater.
August 8, 1895. Coutalianos opens his modern gym on Cyklovorou street.
October 21, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the “Paradise” theater.
June 22, 1895. Coutalianos wanted to leave Prigipos island (Buyukada) where he lived with his family, in order to come to Athens to participate in the Olympic Games.
August 22, 1895. Details for Coutaliano’s gym on Cyklovorou Street.
July 27, 1895. Details for Coutaliano’s gym on Cyklovorou Street.
July 28, 1895. It is announced that Coutalianos wants to establish a gym in Piraeus.
November 30, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the Tsocha theater.
October 29, 1895. Announcement of Coutalianos appearance at the “Paradise” theater.
One of the rare photos of Coutalianos.
Indicative map of Coutalianos movements during the period 1894-1898
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