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Abebe Bikila Bio, Birthday, Birthsign, Birthplace, Height and Profession

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Abebe Bikila


Abebe Bikila


August 7, 1932






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Who is Abebe Bikila? Bio and Background of Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila, born on August 7, 1932, was an Ethiopian long-distance runner who gained international recognition for his remarkable achievements in the field of athletics. Hailing from the small town of Jato, located in the Ethiopian province of Sidamo, Bikila's life was marked by extraordinary feats and a legacy that continues to inspire athletes worldwide. Bikila's athletic journey began in the Ethiopian Imperial Bodyguard, where he served as a soldier. It was during his time in the military that he discovered his passion for running. His natural talent and dedication soon caught the attention of the national coach, Onni Niskanen, who recognized his potential and began training him for competitive races. In 1960, Bikila made his debut on the international stage at the Rome Olympics. What made his performance truly exceptional was the fact that he ran the entire marathon barefoot, as he had not been comfortable with the shoes provided. Despite this unconventional choice, he crossed the finish line in first place, becoming the first African to win an Olympic gold medal in a long-distance running event. This victory not only brought him global recognition but also put Ethiopia on the map as a force to be reckoned with in the world of athletics. Four years later, at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Bikila once again participated in the marathon event. This time, however, he wore shoes, having realized the importance of proper footwear during training. In a display of sheer determination and skill, he secured his second consecutive Olympic gold medal, becoming the first athlete in history to win the marathon twice. This remarkable achievement solidified his status as a legendary figure in the world of sports. Bikila's success extended beyond the Olympics. He also won numerous other prestigious races, including the Boston Marathon in 1961 and 1962, making him the first non-American to win this renowned event. Additionally, he set multiple world records throughout his career, further establishing his dominance in long-distance running. Tragically, Bikila's athletic journey was cut short in 1969 when he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Despite this devastating setback, he remained resilient and continued to inspire others through his unwavering spirit. He took up wheelchair racing and participated in various competitions, showcasing his indomitable willpower. On October 25, 1973, at the age of 41, Abebe Bikila passed away due to