Abebe Bikila

by Bilisumma from Portland, Oregon

Abebe Bikila
Abebe Bikila

I love Abebe Bikila! Because he is my true hero!! And he is also a hero of everyone in his country. He is my hero because he showed me the right way to lead myself and others. Everybody knows that he is the best man who never stops looking forward for his country, a human being with a kind spirit that lifted a nation up. In Ethiopia when the people talk about sports, his name is raised many times. Even though he is not alive, he is still a hero.

Abebe Bikila was born in 1932 in a town called Jalo, outside Addis Ababa. He spent most of his childhood as a shepherd and a student. Bikila spent a number of years with the Imperial guard before he became famous as an athlete. He saw the athletes who were wearing a uniform with their name written on the back. He asked who they were. When they told him that they were athletes of Ethiopia in the Olympics, he challenged himself to be one of them. Even though it was difficult, he wanted the world to know that his country Ethiopia had always won with determination and heroism.

Finally, Bikila’s dream of wearing that outfit with Ethiopia’s name written on the back was realized. Bikila easily won his first major race and later, went on to break the 5000 and 10,000 meter records held by Wami. He didn’t just win the race; he also made a new world record of 2:16:02, running on the cobblestone streets of Rome without shoes. He was also the first African to win on Olympic medal. In 1970, he participated in a 25km cross country competition in Norway where he won the gold medal. Abebe Bikila became a hero after winning the Olympic gold medal in the marathon at the 1960 summer Olympics in Rome, setting a world record of 2hours 15mints 16,2seconds. In addition to winning the gold, Bikila became famous for running bare foot. During the marathon, Bikila passed the obelisk of Axum, an Ethiopian monument.

In 1968, the famous Bikila was injured in a car accident in the city of Sheno near Addis Ababa that left him temporarily unable to move below the waist. Over the next few months, he was treated both in Ethiopia and everywhere. Even while he was in a wheelchair, Abebe wanted to beat others and helped several other racers.

He also loved his country, and he wished the best for his country. That is why he was a hero! Even though he is not running now he is still a hero of his country.

Page created on 8/16/2009 10:13:27 AM

Last edited 8/16/2009 10:13:27 AM

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Related Links

Wikipedia - For more about Abebe Bikila.