Apollon The Emperor of Athletes – Iron Game History – August, 1997

I lived in Lille in 1889, and one morning while crossing a street I came across a huge horse-drawn wagon piled high with weights, dumbells, railroad wheels and grills of iron bars. The vehicle was festooned with gaudy flags and it displayed posters featuring an extraordinary athlete draped in an ancient Roman clock with his right arm emerging from this antique robe. At the strongman’s feet crouched a lion, the symbol of strength. This piece of printed matter announced the arrival of the famous Apollon who was coming to the Flemish capital for the very first time and would make his debut at the Théâtre des Variétés on the me Jean Roisin.