Ass-Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Theagenes

Theagenes of Thasos was an ancient Greek olympian relevent around 500 B.C. He came to the attention of his peers when at nine years old he stole a bronze statue of a god from outside a nearby temple. Though some called for his death (it was a different, child-murdering time) it was eventually decided that simply carrying the heavy statue and placing it back on its pedestal would be punishment enough. When Theagenes did this as easily as most people scratch their nose, a legend was born.

No doubt riffing on the fact he’d already suplexed a god (in bronze statue form) Theagenes quickly established himself as an all-around athlete by dominating every event he ever tried to take part in–seriously.

In 476 B.C. Theagenes dominated the competition in Pankration (man-slamming), then just four years later in 480 B.C. he also bested the competition in boxing (face-punching). The sheer amount of times Theagenes won a sporting event is staggering; he’s believed to have won 1400 events in his 25 year career, or in other words, “one event every single week.” He was so dominant in boxing that he didn’t lose a single fight in 22 years! We couldn’t win that consistently playing Halo, and we’re almost positive that Halo doesn’t turn your nose into a landing strip for fists. It’s now commonly believed by historians that if Theagenes ever learned kickboxing the ancestors of people he fought would have evolved without shin bones.

Theagenes’ dominance in sport was so great that at one Olympiad he decided to emulate Achilles and enter a running event, and wouldn’t you believe it, he won that $#!+ too because you can’t stop a man who was bench-pressing the gods of metal at nine years old unless you have a shotgun filled with holy water.

When Theagenes eventually succumbed to the withering effect of time and died (leaving behind a son he literally named “Double Olympic Champion” in the process) he still had one more fight left in him.

You see, Theagenes beat a lot of people in his life and one of these opponents who never managed to best him while he alive took it upon himself to whip Theagenes’ statue every night, presumably since he metaphorically and physically didn’t have the balls to turkey-slap the cold unforgiving bronze.

After an unconfirmed number of whippings Theagenes’ statue came loose and crushed the man to death. We’ll be honest, if you lose a fight against an inanimate object, that kind of suggests that you should have worked on your side-stepping a little bit. It’s no wonder this guy lost when Theagenes was alive, he couldn’t beat him when his only method of attack was a body slam, come on, little kids playing Pokémon know how to counter that tactic. However the man’s sons didn’t see it like that and they actually prosecuted the statue for murder (Apparently being stupid and a sore loser were two traits he passed on to junior). Oh sorry we missed a word out there, they successfully prosecuted the statue for murder (It was a different, statue-suing time). That’s ludicrous, because it was plainly self-defense. A man can only take so much whipping before he strikes back.

As a result Theagenes’ statue and by extension, his memory was tossed into the ocean. However, like with everything Theagenes had ever done, it was only a matter of time until he came out on top and when his home city succumbed to terrible famine they dredged up his statue and made it a god. Theagenes won so hard he got away with murder in statue form and had people worship him as a god to say sorry.

So the next time you walk past a statue, stop and appreciate the person or persons it was erected to commemorate. If only because if they think you’re disrespecting them, they can still take you out from beyond the grave and suing statues isn’t as common these days.

Dude, you've got a gorgeous girl on your arm -- show no fear.

Dude, you’ve got a gorgeous girl on your arm — show no fear.

Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer that you can hire! His work has been featured on, and you should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.

greatgama Ass Kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Theagenes

Why, his mustache alone could best you in combat!

Karl also documented The Most Hilarious Overreactions to Scary Movies. For a more contemporary ass-kicking athlete, check out Karl’s account of the five-decades-and-counting winning streak enjoyed by The Great Gama.

More from Karl Smallwood

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