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SNF Bréal Cup Challenge:

Athens → Paris
As the Bréal Cup makes its way from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens to the Louvre in Paris for the Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy exhibition, on loan from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), we’re joining together on the Strava platform to run the 2,454-kilometer distance between the two cities.

The story of the Bréal Cup and SNF

Credits: Andreas Simopoulos & SNFCC

On April 18, 2012, SNF announced that it had acquired Bréal’s Silver Cup, the prize presented to Spyros Louis as the winner of the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. SNF acquired the Cup at auction at Christie’s, where it was being offered for sale for the first time by the runner’s grandson.

SNF’s decision to participate in the auction was motivated by the Cup’s historical significance both as an Olympic artifact and an object of national significance for Greece. SNF simultaneously announced its commitment to make the Cup freely accessible to the public by putting it on display at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, where it has appeared since the SNFCC’s opening in 2016.

In the interim, more than 3.5 million people had the opportunity to view the Cup while it was on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens from September 2012 to August 2014 and April 2015 to January 2016. The Cup was also on view for six months from September 2014 to March 2015 at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, coinciding with the International Marathon of Lausanne, which drew approximately 3,000 runners from around the world and gave them the chance to see this piece of Olympic history up close.  Τhe Spyros Louis Cup was also temporarily on display at the Museum of the Ancient Olympic Games in Olympia in celebration of the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which were ultimately postponed due to the pandemic.

From April to September 2024, the Cup will be on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris as a centerpiece of the temporary exhibition Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy, organized in collaboration with the French School of Athens to coincide with the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Let’s run to Paris!

In celebration of this milestone event and in collaboration with the popular fitness tracking app Strava, we created the SNF Bréal Cup Challenge: Athens to Paris. Participants will collectively run, walk, wheel, or hike 2,454 kilometers, the distance between Athens and Paris, symbolically tracing the Cup’s journey.

To take part, find and join the challenge in the Strava app, and the kilometers you clock will be added to the overall distance traveled. At the end of the challenge, one lucky winner will be selected by drawing to travel with a person of their choice to Paris to watch the 2024 Olympic marathon and visit Olympism: Modern Invention, Ancient Legacy at the Louvre Museum. 

Time is running out before the Bréal Cup is moved, which means time for us to get out running! Join the team and become part of the story of an important piece of Olympic history!