The tradition of placing olive wreaths on the heads of the male an female winners dates back to the 1984 Boston Marathon, when official agreements were established between the Greek government and Boston.  Each year a ceremony is hosted by the Consult General of Greece in Boston where the wreaths are presented to Boston and race officials, continuing the tradition celebrating the bonds that link all of us.  the Greek government provides the official winner wreaths created from olive branches grown  at the marathon's birthplace, Marathon, Greece.

Wreaths are similar to those presented to the winners in ancient Greece, where the Marathon and the Olympic Games originated."
Peter Agris, Publisher of the Hellenic Chronicle, lead the team that created this marathon tradition that is a visual reminder of the historical links between modern day marathons and the Battle of Marathon Greece, widely regarded by historians as the first defense of democracy in human history, that occurred 2500 years ago.
Leaders involved with creating the winners wreath tradition include:
- Ambassador of Greece, George Papoulias
- Consul of Greece in Boston, Christos P. Panagopoulos
- Boston Mayor, Raymond Flynn 
- Massachusetts Governor, Michael S. Dukakis
- President of the Boston Athletic Association, Tom Brown
- BAA Marathon Race Director, Timothy W. Kilduff
The ceremony is a celebration of Greek traditions and culture. Government, religious, community, business and marathon contributors, pose with members of the Greek-American community to honor the 30 year tradition of the marathon winner wreaths.