In 1896 it is announced that the Olympic Games will be revived in Athens. A young shepherd, Spiridon Loues, decides to enter the 26-mile marathon. Once in Athens, he meets Christina Gratsos, a young woman from his hometown who is now the personal maid of Eleni Costa, Greece's most glamorous actress. Though he has arrived after the qualification date, Spiridon's athletic prowess so impresses Coach Graham of the American team that he is permitted to enter the contest. Eleni informs the press that she will marry the victor, confident it will be her lover, Lieutenant Vinardos.