If you love ancient stories and legends, then you’ll love the story of Milo. Milo lived in Ancient Greece, and his strength has entered the books of legends. He is often regarded as the strongest man that ever lived, and at that time, he became a wrestler.
He was so powerful that he could lift a horse making it look like a child’s play. Yes, we are talking about a full-sized horse just the ones we see at the Kentucky Derby.
So, who was Milo? Are we talking about Hercules? And how did he manage to lift bulls and horses as the legend says?
Let’s dive deeper into the story of Milo and learn more about the strongest man (or myth), that ever appeared on Earth.
Who Was Milo of Croton?
Milo originated from Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy known for producing top athletes. His rise to renown began in 540 BC when he won the boys’ wrestling competition at the Ancient Olympic Games.
He gained notoriety and legendary status after demonstrating his power at the Olympic games. According to folklore, he carried a full-size bull across the Olympic Stadium without breaking a sweat.
He didn’t stop there; he went on to win the men’s competition in the next five Olympic Games in a row, a feat that says eloquently about his unrivaled ability.
The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece is where we can see the first traces of horse racing. Gambling/betting was a big thing back then. .
Milo had a lot of horses to pick up and showcase his talent.
How Much Does a Horse or Bull Weigh?
In order to fully understand Milo’s strength let’s see how much an actual horse or bull weigh?
When it comes to horses, there are different breeds, and at that time, horses probably weight from 1100 to 1,800 lbs or from 500-800kg.
On the other hand, the bull weighs much more than a horse. A full-sized bull weight is around 1,800 to 2,500 pounds, or from 820 to 1,200 kg.
To put it in perspective, this weighs as much as a modern hatchback car.
So, the legend is saying that Milo apparently lifted horses and bulls like it was nothing, but is it true? Could he lift one of the current competitors in the Kentucky Derby TwinSpires odds like it were nothing?
How Does This Compare to Modern-Day Weightlifters?
If Milo could have picked up a full-grown bull weighing about a ton, this leads to the question of what is the record for weightlifting in the modern-day world.
Well, we have to go back to not-so-modern times to 1956, when a man named Paul Anderson managed to lift 2,840 kg or 6,270 lb., which is much more than Milo. This is even recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest weight ever raised by a human.
With that said, Paul only managed to lift it once, and drop it down quickly. Not like Milo, where the legends say that he was running with a bull on his back.
The Myth of Milo and the Bull
The bull story is the most renowned example of Milo’s power. According to the narrative, Milo spotted a newborn calf and chose to raise it onto his shoulders. He followed this practice every day for four years, during which time the calf had matured into a full-grown bull.
This story demonstrates not just his physical power, but also the notion of progressive overload, which is important to current strength training.
More Than Just a Wrestler
Milo’s accomplishments extended beyond the wrestling ring. He was a ferocious warrior, frequently compared to the heroic Heracles (Hercules), who led his army to victory despite overwhelming odds.
His daily diet was just as amazing, with 20 pounds of meat, 20 pounds of bread, and 10 liters of wine. Whether these statistics are inflated or not, they surely contribute to the reputation of Milo’s larger-than-life personality.
Fact or Fiction?
It’s crucial to note that many of these stories are overblown. As it is undeniable that Milo was a strong force in ancient sports, some stories, such as his ability to hold a pomegranate without destroying it as others attempted to rip it from his grasp, blur the boundary between truth and myth.
We don’t know the truth, but if I would guess that he was a tough individual, but not as strong as the legend tells us.
Milo’s Tragic Demise
Milo’s life ends tragically, as is customary in Greek culture. According to popular belief, he attempted to split a wood log with his bare hands, became imprisoned, and was devoured by wolves.
While the specific circumstances of his death are unclear, this conclusion matches the big tale of his life—a combination of awe-inspiring power and a touch of the theatrical.
The Legacy of Milo
Milo of Croton is more than a historical character; he represents exceptional power and tenacity. His narrative, whether true or enhanced fiction, continues to inspire sportsmen and strongmen decades later.
His legacy serves as a reminder of the ageless desire of physical greatness, as well as the persistent appeal of fabled heroes.
Milo of Croton’s life, draped in the robes of myth and history, serves as a reminder of the power of storytelling and the enduring fascination humans have with extraordinary feats of strength.
While we may never know the full truth behind Milo’s legend, his story continues to captivate and inspire, a testament to the timelessness of human achievement and the art of storytelling.