Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila Quotes

Ethiopia, Athlete
August 7, 1932October, 25, 1973.

Abebe Bikila was an Ethiopian marathon runner. A double Olympic marathon champion, he won the first at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome while running barefoot, setting a world record. He is Africa's first world record breaking athlete in any sport and the first sub-Saharan African Olympic gold medallist. At the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Abebe became the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic marathon title, breaking his own world record in the process. He was a member of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard, an elite infantry division that safeguarded the Emperor of Ethiopia. Enlisting as a soldier before his athletic career, he rose to the rank of shambel (captain). In Ethiopia, Abebe is formally known as Shambel Abebe Bikila

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