Coroebus of Elis

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Coroebus of Elis, commonly spelled Koroibos (Greek: Κόροιβος Ἠλεῖος) was a humble Greek cook,[1] baker[2] and athlete from Elis, who won the stadion race in the first recorded Ancient Olympic Games in 776 BC.


The stadion race of the Greeks seem to have been accurately recorded. The prize he received was an olive branch, though the honor of winning was far more prestigious than the actual prize.[3]

According to legend, the ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles (the Roman Hercules), a son of Zeus. Yet the first Olympic Games for which we still have written records were held in 776 BC (though it is generally believed that the Games had been going on for many years already). At this Olympic Games, a naked runner, Coroebus (a cook from Elis), won the sole event at the Olympics, the stade - a run of approximately 192 metres (210 yards). This made Coroebus the very first Olympic champion in history.


  1. Michael Symons, A History of Cooks and Cooking, University of Illinois Press, 2003, p.300
  2. Robert Garland. Celebrity in Antiquity: From Media Tarts to Tabloid Queens. London: Duckworth, 2006.
  3. Eusebius. Chronicon (English translation from Latin, original Greek lost) at