Abebe Bikila Rank
About Abebe Bikila
Abebe Bikila was an Ethiopian track and field athlete who was known for his grace and exceptional stamina. He was the perfect picture of a naturally talented distance runner.
The Eastern African distance runner came from the small community of Jato in Shewa. His father was a shepherd.
The former Olympic gold medalist began running at the age of 24. He was a private in Ethiopia’s imperial army and also the bodyguard of Emperor Haile Selassie. He was sent to train at a camp set up by the government after World War II. It was at this camp that his exceptional talent in running was discovered. The long distance runner won his first marathon in 1960, in Addis Ababa.
Olympic Gold Medalist
Abebe’s first major international appearance came at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy. The Ethiopian shocked the world by running barefooted on the Appian Way before cruising to the finish line. After this win, he ran and won other marathon races in Greece, Japan and Czechoslovakia in 1961.
Abebe participated in the 1963 Boston marathon but he finished fifth. He also took part in the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and won gold. The past world record holder again participated in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico.
His athletic career came to an end, when he was involved in an accident that left him paralyzed.
Not only is Abebe the first Ethiopian to win an Olympic gold medal, but he is also the first African to attain the feat.
He is also the first athlete to win an Olympic marathon two consecutive times.
His two victories at the 1960 Summer Olympics and the 1964 Tokyo Olympics were made in world record time.
The New York Road Runners established the Abebe Bikila Award to honor long distance runners. The likes of Haile Gebrselassie, Paul Kibii Tergat and Mamo Wolde have received the award.
He died in 1973 from a brain hemorrhage.
Did you know?
During the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, which lasted from 1935 to 1937, Abebe’s family had to flee their hometown in Shewa to Gorro.
Abebe Bikila Rank
Abebe Bikila photo gallery
F.A.Q. about Abebe Bikila
When is his birthday?
Abebe Bikila's birthday is on August 7, 1932.
In how many days is his birthday?
Abebe Bikila's birthday is in 305 days
How old was Abebe Bikila when he died?
He was 41 years old.
When did he die?
He died in October 25, 1973.
How old would he be today?
Abebe Bikila would be 90 years old if he was alive today.
Where was Abebe Bikila from?
He was born in Jato, Ethiopia.
What was Abebe Bikila's height?
He was 5′ 10″ (1.77m) tall.