Diagoras of Rhodes, was indeed a champion. He is described in one of the odes of poet Pindar. Diagoras was a boxer that won the 79th edition of the Olympics in 464 B.C.
He comes from one of the noble families of Rhodes, and the legend says he is a son of Hermes. Some athletes with great performances were thought to be demi-gods, as their powers were somehow unexplainable.
Diagoras of Rhodes not only won the Olympics but all the sports events that were held around his time.
Diagoras won four times at the Isthmian games, twice at Nemea, and at other games held in his native Rhodes, Athens, and elsewhere throughout the Greek world. We have no exact record of his career, but it is clear that Diagoras was a legend in his own time.
Pindar, in Olympian 7 , in his Ode for Diagoras, praises the boxer as a “fair-fighter” and a “gigantic” man. Diagoras also “walks a straight course on a road that hates arrogance.”
Diagoras handed over his legacy to his sons and grandsons, as they became champions as well, honouring their father’s name in the Olympics.
“And now, with the music of flute and lyre alike I have come to land with Diagoras, singing the sea-child of Aphrodite and bride of Helios, Rhodes, so that I may praise this straight-fighting, tremendous man who had himself crowned beside the Alpheus and near Castalia, as a recompense for his boxing, and also his father Damagetus, a man pleasing to Justice, living on the island of three cities near the foreland of spacious Asia, among Argive spearmen.”
For Diagoras of Rhodes, Boxing-Match, 464 B. C.