Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian athlete who is considered by many as the greatest long-distance runners of all time. He has to his credit two Gold Olympic. Haile Gebrselassie is an Ethiopian distance runner. He was born in the city of Bekoji, in the Arsi region of central Ethiopia. In the m. Full name: Haile Gebrselassie Original name: ኃá‹áˆŒ ገብረ ሥላሴ Gender: Male Height: ( cm) Weight: lbs (56 kg) Born: April 18, .

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Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie is one of the world’s fastest runners gebrselasssie has held several world records in long-distance events.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in the ahile 10,meter race, Gebrselassie is also a top marathon runner and set a new world record time of 2: Like many of the world’s best runners, he hails from a part of the African continent known for both its high altitude and dire poverty, and he has invested his earnings in several business ventures back in his baile as a mission to create jobs, end famine, and improve the lives of ordinary Ethiopians.

Born inGebrselassie grew up near the town of Asela, in the Arsi zone in central Ethiopia. His earliest years were a time of political gerselassie In the country’s longtime monarchy was ousted by a Communist military dictatorship, which then engaged in a brutal campaign, known as the Red Terror, to root out dissent. Thousands, including the emperor, were killed.

A period of famine followed in the early s. Although the Arsi area was not one of the hardest hit, Gebrselassie recalled his early years as a time of abject poverty. His father owned some livestock and could grow a few crops when the weather cooperated, but Gebrselassie, his five brothers, and four sisters were all expected to pitch in, especially after their mother died from cancer inthe year Gebrselassie turned six.

Our conditions never seemed to change. For months at a time it was the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—corn, corn, corn…. I used to dream of how I could make my life better, or how Gebrelassie could become someone famous or important. I thought about becoming a pilot, or maybe an artist. One of his family’s few luxuries was a radio, and in the summer of the seven-year-old was entranced by broadcasts from the Moscow Olympics.

That year an Ethiopian runner, Miruts Yifter, won the men’s 10,meter race. As Gebrselassie witnessed Ethiopia’s jubilation, he made winning an Olympic gold gebrxelassie his goal. He did not formally enter the sport until he was in his teens but, like many in his family and region, usually ran to and from school, a gebrsealssie of gebbrselassie little more than six miles each way.


Because the Arsi area was so far biograph sea levelwhich meant its air had less oxygen, his heart and lungs had gebrselassis work harder—but that also conditioned them to work at maximum-performance levels. There were other challenges on the daily trek, he recalled in an interview with Jim White for the Guardian. When Gebrselassie competed for the first time in a formal event—at age fourteen in a race at his school—he won the 1,meter contest, even though he was the youngest in the group.

His father discour- aged his further participation, however, asserting that spare time should be devoted either to studying or to helping with farm chores.

At age fifteen he defied his father and gebrselxssie to Addis AbabaEthiopia’s capital, to compete in a kilometer race. When he arrived, he learned that the race had been canceled. But a marathon—a Having gone that far—about one hundred fifty miles—he decided to run anyway. Although he did poorly, the race gave him his first taste of serious long-distance running. When he returned home, he recounted later, his father was angry at him for having traveled so far just gebdselassie run in a race.

For several months he abided by his father’s order to quit running.

About a year later he moved to Addis Ababa to live with two of his brothers. The plan was that he would join the army, but his brother Assefa, who had earned a college degree and could support him, urged him to keep running instead.

For the next year he trained daily at Jan Meda, a track used for national track-and-field events it was originally built for the emperor’s racehorses. Inafter winning a spot on the Ethiopian junior national team, he boarded a plane for the first time and flew to Antwerp, Belgium, where he competed in the World Cross Country Championships, the top event for amateur runners, which is sponsored by the International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF.

Running in both the junior 5,meter and 10,meter events, he did not do very well.

Haile Gebrselassie Bio, Stats, and Results | Olympics at

He won the 10,meter race and came in second in the 5,meter race. The following year Gebrselassie set a new world record time of In he broke the world record in the 10, meters by a stunning nine seconds, finishing the annual Adriaan Paulen Memorial Race in Hengelo, The Netherlands, in At the Atlanta Olympics he won a gold medal in the men’s 10,meter and returned to Ethiopia a national hero. The airport in Addis Ababa was also host to his engagement party for his upcoming wedding to Alem Te Lhun, who had worked at her family’s snack kiosk near the Jan Meda track.


Endurance, a docudrama about Gebrselassie’s quest for Olympic gold, was released a few years later. At the track-and-field championships in Zurich, Switzerland, Gebrselassie broke his own biographh record.

The following year he set new indoor records in the 2,meter and 3,meter races. He was also being challenged by a younger Ethiopian runner, Kenenisa Bekele, whom Gebrselassie had mentored. Both competed in the 10, at the Athens Olympics; Bekele won the gold medal while Gebrselassie, who had bioyraphy his Achilles tendoncame in fifth. Ethiopian national junior track-and-field team, ; Ethiopian national men’s track-and-field team, —; Ethiopian Olympic team,, and Gold medal, 10,meter race, International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships,; gold medal, 10,meter race, Atlanta Olympics and Sydney Olympics; winner, Amsterdam, Berlin, Fukuoka JapanBerlin, and Dubai marathons.

haile gebrselassie biography

Gebrselassie won his first marathon in Amsterdam in A year later he won both the Berlin and Fukuoka Japan marathons. He set a new world record for a marathon, 2: Four months later he won the Dubai Marathon with a time of 2: In he opted out of the marathon event at the Beijing Olympics, citing the city’s polluted air, but did run in the 10,meter race, finishing sixth. My favorite part, though, is the millions of people along the street shouting my name. Can you imagine hearing people cheer for you for over two hours?

Oh, it’s just fantastic. In Addis Ababa, where he lives with his wife and three daughters, he invested in real estate and construction ventures, employing his siblings and more than two hundred others. His construction company built schools in underserved rural areas. All the money I have, I spend in this country….

This is where I was born. This is where I will die. I am proud of this country. I am proud of these people. New York Times, March 11,p.

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