A Brief Biography Of Louis Uni
Louis Uni (Apollon the Mighty) is a famous French strongman from a different time in strongman history. He performed feats of strength before there were the competitions for strongmen. He is well-knowing for his grip strength and the amazing feats he achieved in the early 19th century.
Louis Uni was born in France in 1862 in the house his father had built. He came from a long line of exceptionally tall men with his grandfather being 6’8”. His grandfather was considered a giant as the average height at the time for men was only 5’5” and Uni would reach a height of 6’3”.
Not much is known about Uni’s early life, but it is said that he ran away from home at the age of 14. He left to join a traveling circus called Caramange which had stopped close to his hometown of Lunel. His time with the Italian circus was cut short when the police took him into custody during a performance with the circus. He was taken back home to his parents.
Eventually, his parents realize that they could not stop him from doing what he wanted and allowed him to leave home. He started to work with famous performers of the time such as August The Butcher and Pietro Dalmosso. By the age of 20, he was also able to finish his military service.
Business And Wrestling
At some point, Uni took over a café in Paris which be renamed Concert Apollon. After renovations were completed, theatrical performances were carried out in the café alongside some athletic acts. This venture into business was not meant to be and Uni had to sell the theatre losing a considerable amount in the process.
After the business failure, Uni turned to what he was good at. In 1889, he entered a Greco-Roman wrestling championship in Bordeaux. Uni entered under the name he had carved for himself, Apollon, where he was billed as the king of human strength. This title had been earned by Uni’s great strength and amazing grip.
An advert for the competition stated that Apollon would perform strength exercises including his famous 80 kg lift. This lift was said to be done by holding the weight between 2 fingers.
In the same year, Uni would compete against Charles Estienne also known as Batta. The contest had both strongmen lifting 118 kg train-car wheels. Batta was able to raise the wheels to his shoulders where he needed to rest it against his chest for a moment. It is said that Uni found the weight to be easy to lift allowing him to win the content.
At this time, Uni would continue to perform his strongman feats. One of his acts was the Escaping Prisoner where he would bend tempered iron bars. This routine would be one he performed at Folies Bergere and the Royal Aquarium in London. In 1982, he cleaned and jerked a 155 kg double barbell before holding it in one hand and lifting one leg off the ground.
Louis Uni was a strongman who performed great feats of strength under the name Apollon. He worked in traveling shows until his death in 1928 at the age of 66.