Olympian in Our Backyard

He was an Olympic boxer at the 1960 Rome games.  He roomed with Muhammad Ali.  He’s our Brooklyn Heights neighbor.  Today the New York Times profiles former Olympians who live in the five boroughs including our own Nikos Spanakos:

New York Times: On the Streets of New York…: Mr. Spanakos, the boxer, is still at his fighting weight of 125 pounds. He weighs himself every morning in his apartment in Brooklyn Heights on the scale next to his trophies, medals and photographs. Mr. Spanakos and his identical twin, Pete, were the youngest of seven children in one of the only Greek families in the mostly German and Irish neighborhood of Red Hook, he said.

…Nikos Spanakos has a bad back and still has operations to fix his nose, oft-broken in his boxing days. He works out daily at a gym near his apartment, and laughed when asked about rooming with Muhammad Ali, who turned 18 the year of the Games in Rome.

“Even as a teenager, he was a big talker, and a lot of what he said, he wrote out on cards first,” Mr. Spanakos recalled. “He told me as a teenager in 1959 that he would win the gold and go on to be heavyweight champ of the world.”

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  • nabeguy

    Wait a minute…identical twin brother? Not the Goggle Brothers by any chance?

  • Remsen Streeter

    You got me excited there for a second, especially with the reference to working out daily, but alas, if you look at the multimedia slideshow attached to the article, he’s clearly no Goggle Brother

  • http://www.brooklyndojo.com Sensei Brian

    Mr. Spanakos stepped into the Dojo a few weeks back to see what we were doing.
    To read that he’s 70 is amazing.

  • jim

    oh my gosh, i also thought they were referring to the Goggle Brothers when i first saw the story…just y’day i saw one of them on the streets. it’s the 2nd time in a row that i’ve only seen one of them & i wondered if something has happened to the other…certainly hope not. they are a unique fixture to our hood !!