Alexi Pappas

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Alexi Pappas
Personal information
NationalityAmerican and Greek
Born (1990-03-28) 28 March 1990 (age 33)
Berkeley, California, U.S.
Home townAlameda, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
Country Greece
SportTrack and field
Event(s)10,000 metres
5,000 metres
College teamDartmouth College (2008-2012)
Oregon Ducks (2012-13)
Achievements and titles
Olympic finals2016
10,000 m, 17th
Personal bests

Alexi Pappas or Alexia Pappa (Greek Αλεξία Παππά; born 28 March 1990) is a Greek-American runner, filmmaker, actor, and writer. Pappas was an NCAA All-American athlete at both Dartmouth College and the University of Oregon. She represented Greece at the 2016 Summer Olympics, setting the national record for 10k.

Early life and education[edit]

Pappas was born on 28 March 1990, to a Greek-American father who has roots from Rhodes and an American mother. She has a brother who is four years older.[1] Pappas grew up in Alameda, California. Her mother died by suicide when Pappas was four years old.[2]

Athletic career[edit]

Bishop O'Dowd High School California Interscholastic Federation[edit]

As a sophomore at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School, Pappas placed fourth in the Division III girls 5K race at the California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships in 2005.[3]

Pappas's high school coach refused to let her participate in multiple sports, even though boys at the same high school were permitted to do so, and stated that this affected her physical development.[4][5][6]


Pappas was a two-time NCAA all-American at Dartmouth College. She was one of nine finalists for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year award.[7] She also won the 2012 season's Ivy League title in the steeplechase (9:58.80) and qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene. Pappas graduated magna cum laude in creative writing and English from Dartmouth College in 2012.[1]

Pappas attended the University of Oregon as a master's student, where she earned three NCAA Division I All-American awards. She finished eighth individually at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships with a time of 19:43.9 (6,000 meters) helping the Oregon Ducks women's cross country team win the national title.[8] She graduated from Oregon with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing in 2013.[citation needed]

2016 Olympics[edit]

Pappas became a Greek citizen on 8 January 2016 and on 1 May that year she broke the 10,000 m Greek national record, which had stood since 2002. She represented Greece at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[9] At the Olympic finals, she improved her national record when she finished 17th in 31:36.16.[10]

2022 Boston Marathon[edit]

Pappas served as a guide for para-athlete Lisa Thompson in the 2022 Boston Marathon, who won the T13 (Visual Impairment) Division with a time of 3:47:25. [11]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Greece
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 11th 10,000 m 32:27.80
11th 5,000 m 15:56.75
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 17th 10,000 m 31:36.16 NR


Pappas has made several movies as a director, writer, actor, and producer. These include Tall as the Baobab Tree (2012), Speed Goggles (2016), Tracktown (2017),[12] and Olympic Dreams (2019), which was the first fictional movie filmed in an Olympic village.[2]


Pappas's first book, Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas, with a foreword by Maya Rudolph,[13][2] was published on 12 January 2021.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

In 2020 Pappas published a video about her struggle with depression, calling for better care of elite athletes' mental health.[16]


  1. ^ a b Alexi Pappas, Dartmouth College: 2012 Woman of the Year Top 9 Finalists NCAA youtube
  2. ^ a b c "Filmmaker and elite marathon runner, Alexi Pappas wants to make sure 'the complete person is happening'". CNN. 25 July 2020.
  3. ^ The Catholic Voice Oakland 12 December 2005
  4. ^ Pappas, Alexi (10 January 2021). "Female Athletes Need to See Puberty as a Power, Not a Weakness". The Atlantic.
  5. ^ "State Finals - 2005".
  6. ^ "Alexi Pappas' High School Girls Soccer Stats".
  7. ^ Dartmouth College Athletics (11 December 2011). "Alexi Pappas Dartmouth profile". dartmouth sports. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ University of Oregon Athletics (11 June 2013). "Alexi Pappas 2012 cross country University of Oregon profile". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  9. ^ Martinelli, Michelle R. (7 June 2016). "Alexi Pappas makes her family proud by making Greek team for Rio". USA Today. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  10. ^ Morse, Parker (12 August 2016). "Report: women's 10,000m – Rio 2016 Olympic Games". World Athletics. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Mutual Support Propelled First-Time Guide Alexi Pappas and Para Athlete Lisa Thompson to Boston Marathon Win". MSN.
  12. ^ "tracktown". Rotten Tomatoes. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  13. ^ Bravey Heart With her memoir of heartbreak and hilarity, Olympian and movie-maker Alexi Pappas ’12 stays on track
  14. ^ What's New With You with Alexi Pappas Ali on the Run Show OCT 25, 2020
  15. ^ Olympian Alexi Pappas on her New Memoir 'Bravey' KTLA
  16. ^ Pappas, Alexi (7 December 2020). "I Achieved My Wildest Dreams. Then Depression Hit". The New York Times.

External links[edit]