It is a thriller rare in modern Olympics. With amazing grace he changed the Olympic Marathon leaving colorful footsteps forever. First he ran barefooted then in shoes.

Abebe Bikila was born in 1932 in the North Showa region of Ethiopia, in a village called Jato. He grew up in a typical village setting. He received some church education. In his youth, he was noted as a good swimmer, Gena player, a type of hockey played during Christmas, and a skillful horse rider. At the age of 17 he moved to the capital city, Addis Ababa, where he began a military carrier in the imperial bodyguard regiment.

To keep the troops physically fit, the army unit had regular sport activities. This program gave him a chance to develop his natural talent for sport. Later on as a symbol of unity the armed forces established a yearly sport competition event, which was designed to reunite the three forces, The Army, The Air Force and The Navy in shared activities. 

In his first Annual National Army Athletic competition, he finished the race in 2 hours 39 minutes and 50 seconds. READ MORE
50th Anniversary of Rome
Olympic Victory, Come Celebrate
With Us.
The event to be held will have three phases,
with a four-week photograph exhibition READ MORE

Abebe Bikila International Marathon

The Abebe Bikila International Marathon is one of only two marathons held annually in Ethiopia (the other being the Addis Ababa City Municipal Marathon). This race is dedicated in the name of Abebe Bikila, Africa’s first-ever Olympic gold medallist who ran barefoot to take victory in the 1960 Rome Olympics Marathon.

50th Anniversary Athletes of the Year Abebe Bikila's life time photo Exhibition
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Captain Abebe Bikila's marathon victory of Rome Olympic, the newly reconstructed tomb statue inauguration ceremony will be held at St. Joseph church on October 25, 2010 at 10 AM. The inauguration will be attended by high government officials, his families, close friends, sport communities and the public in general.
Bolt and Richards are World Athletes of the Year – 2009 World Athletics Gala Monte-Carlo – During the celebrations of the World Athletics Gala hosted by International Athletic Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and IAF & IAAF President Lamine Diack in the Salle des  Abebe Bikila's family event organizing committee and Italian Cultural Institute, Addis Ababa representing Minister of Foreign Affairs-Italy have collaborated to organize the 50th anniversary of Abebe Bikila's Rome Olympic victory celebration events in Ethiopia.

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