Gelon was a colourful figure in Sicily’s history: a valiant captain and great sportsman, he was tyrant of Gela and later lord of his beloved city Syracuse.
The Sicilian tyrant was an example of the close link in Greek tradition between sport and politics.
In fact, he was the winner at the 488 BC Olympics, competing against other Sicilian tyrants and coming first in the quadriga (chariot race), the most difficult and prestigious competition.
Sporting triumph played an important role as his Olympic exploits were widely echoed in the Panhellenic world, including Syracuse.
This was how in 485 BC, Gelon infiltrated the class disputes that arose around the city of Arethusa.
When he took possession of the territory, the people acclaimed him as king, giving him the opportunity to choose Syracuse as the beating heart of his kingdom