The Ethiopian is going to run a marathon barefoot like Abebe Bekila
Back-to-back Olympic marathon winner Shambel Abebe Bikila was an Ethiopian marathon runner. He won the first gold medal for both Africa and Ethiopia at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome while competing barefoot. He is the first Ethiopian to win an Olympic gold medal. He earned his second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. He thereby made Olympic history by becoming the first athlete to successfully defend a marathon championship. He ran both victories in a world record effort. Abebe, an Ethiopian who was born in Shewa, relocated to Addis Abeba in the early 1950s and enlisted in the 5th Infantry Regiment of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard, an elite infantry unit that protected the country’s emperor. Prior to his sports career, he enlisted in the military and attained the rank of shambel. Abebe ran in sixteen marathons altogether. He finished second in his debut marathon in Addis Abeba, won twelve additional contests, and took fifth place in the Boston Marathon in 1963. He suffered the first of multiple sports-related leg ailments in July 1967, which kept him from completing his final two marathons. In terms of long-distance running, Abebe was a pioneer. These competitions served as the Paralympic Games’ forerunners. In 1971, he participated in both sports at a competition in Norway for people with disabilities and won the cross-country sleighing championship. On October 25, 1973, at the age of 41, Abebe passed away from a brain hemorrhage brought on by the accident he had four years earlier. He was given a state funeral, and Emperor Haile Selassie proclaimed a day of mourning for all Ethiopians. He is the subject of numerous memorials, notably Addis Abeba’s Abebe Bikila Stadium. His athletic career has been the topic of biographies and films, and he frequently appears in articles on the Olympics and the marathon.