Pherenike of Rhodes: The Ancient Greek Mom Who Risked All to Guarantee Her Son's Olympic Glory - The Pappas Post


The determination of the Greek mother is, perhaps, best exemplified in the story of Pherenike, a proud ancient version of the modern-day soccer mom, who watched her children grow into strong athletes— all the way to Olympic glory.

Against all of the rules that barred women from participating in any way, shape or form during the Olympics, she became her son’s trainer and took him all the way to the 94th Olympiad of 404 BC where she donned a male trainer’s tunic and disguised her face to look more manly.

She risked her own life while doing this as women caught at or even near Olympia during the sacred rituals and athletic competitions, were thrown off the top of a hill and into a river to their deaths.

In his boxing match, Peisirodos did his family proud, and won Olympic laurels— the ancient equivalent to a Gold Medal. Pherenike was ecstatic and lost in the excitement of the moment, leapt into the ring to congratulate her son.
Read more of the story of Pherenike of Rhodes here and at Ancient Olympics