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funny old newspaper sketch

Ironies and pranks

Underrated versions and reported defeats.

This life is where you make it. No matter what, you’ re going to mess up sometimes, it’ s the universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’ re going to mess it up.

Marilyn Monroe

The few articles we present in this section aim to degrade the reputation of Koutalianos. Of course they do not achieve their goal, but we archive them in the service of historical truth and to the interest of our readers.

March 5, 1901 Le Velo
The columnist of the French newspaper “Le Velo” mocks the self-confidence of Coutalianos who claim that his opponents “hide like mice” when they hear his name. Of course he invokes -probably without his knowledge- the name of French champions who actually avoid facing him, when they happened to be in the same country at the same time.
July 14,1935
The greek newspaper “Rizospastis” which is an organ of the Communist Party ridicules some other regime newspapers that refer to Coutalianos. The columnist believes that the name of Coutalianos, who lived several decades ago, is aimed at stimulating national sentiment, a face that he finds ideologically opposed.
April 19, 1883
Τhe French-language Turkish newspaper “Stamboul” reports that Coutalianos was defeated by the wrestler Hall. We are in position to know that the newspapers published in Ottoman Empire were completely unreliable and therefore we consider this information inaccurate.
July 26, 1884
The above article is interesting. Its editor avoids pompous expressions and is content to inform his readers that to become a good athlete one needs only patience and training.
We found the above text in Dimitris Karakitsos’ book entitled “Wrestlers”. In this paragraph it is mentioned that a wrestler named Pepo managed to defeat Coutalianos in a wrestling match. This information is not verified by any source, precisely because the book is a novel and does not describe true incidents.
The entrance to the iconic Webster Ηall in New York, which is mentioned in the text that follows. There, the weightlifting Olympic champion Dimitris Tofalos, with Coutaliano’s sons Georgios and Ellin, happened to meet and argue.
The building was severely damaged by a fire that broke out in the early decades of the 20th century. Valuable archival material may have been lost. It is probable that Panagis Coutalianos also performed in this theater when he visited New York.
“Αtlantis” February 23, 1919. The Greek Olympic champion and weightlifting champion Dimitrios Tofalos (1884-1966) meets with Coutaliano’s two sons, George and Ellina, at Webster Hall in New York. In this venue and in public view, it seems that an intense confrontation took place between them, the content of which was leaked to the press of the time. Tofalos, rather furious, is reported to have openly questioned the excellence of the glory of Panagis Coutalianos, claiming that what is said and written about him are popular myths. He based his beliefs on the fact that Panagis Coutalianos is not known if he faced athletes of international fame as he did. But Tofalos was born in 1884, when Panagis Coutalianos was already at the peak of his fame and was probably ignorant of the details of Coutalianos’ life, like most Greeks.
We already know that Panagis Coutalianos not only faced great wrestlers and weightlifters, but moreover his participation in fixed matches was excluded by various organizers when he refused to accept losing for a large amount of money. In addition, Coutalianos lived and acted at a time when international sports meetings had not yet been instituted, so he lacked the advantage of Tofalos, who was recognized as an Olympian and champion by participating in various competitions. We are of the opinion that the outcome of this specific event probably does not honor Tofalos because it highlights his arrogance and his ignorance of the history of Panagis Coutalianos, who, however, was an unrivaled and pioneer.
Greek immigrants gather in front of Webster Hall as they prepare to return to their country to engage in the first Balkan war (October 1912)/ (
Webster Hall was an attraction and a meeting point for many Greek immigrants.
Kostas Michos

Kostas Michos



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