Greek mythology is filled with tales of heroic strength—perhaps the most famous being that of Atlas, who singlehandedly held the heavens aloft.

In a singularly uplifting modern-day version of Atlas come to life, one courageous athlete recently climbed Mount Olympus—home to the ancient gods–carrying a disabled comrade to the summit with him piggy-back style.

Long-distance runner Marios Giannakou has a long track record of taking on challenges: He’s trekked 168 miles across the Al Marmoum Desert and he also took first place in a frigid 93-mile cross-country race in Antarctica.

Prior to his latest endeavor, he’d already successfully taken in the view from atop Mount Olympus’ highest peak 50 times.

When Giannakou met and befriended 22-year-old biology student Eleftheria Tosiou and learned of her dream to experience the summit herself, it seemed only natural that he was more than ready to rise to the occasion.

“For me, all international races, the medals and the distinctions so far, mean little compared to that goal,” he told the