Barefoot Runner: The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila

Barefoot Runner The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila It s an astonishing sight I must say the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila is racing barefoot BBC Radio Olympic commentary Rome Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal He w

  • Title: Barefoot Runner: The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila
  • Author: Paul Rambali
  • ISBN: 9781852429041
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Paperback
  • It s an astonishing sight, I must say the Ethiopian, Abebe Bikila, is racing barefoot BBC Radio Olympic commentary, Rome, 1960Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal He won the marathon running barefoot in Rome in 1960 and won again wearing shoes in Tokyo in 1964, becoming the first person to win the most grueling of all human contests tw It s an astonishing sight, I must say the Ethiopian, Abebe Bikila, is racing barefoot BBC Radio Olympic commentary, Rome, 1960Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal He won the marathon running barefoot in Rome in 1960 and won again wearing shoes in Tokyo in 1964, becoming the first person to win the most grueling of all human contests twice.Born into bitter poverty in rural Ethiopia in 1932, at sixteen Bikila joined the Imperial Guard of the Emperor Haile Selassie It was there that he came to the notice of the Swedish athletics coach Onni Niskanen, whom Selassie had engaged to try and raise his country s profile through sport Bikila became the focus of these ambitions and an unwitting figurehead for black African nationalism.Following the 1960 Olympics, Bikila s life took a dramatic turn when he was implicated in a failed coup against Selassie Bikila was initially sentenced to death but was eventually pardoned following Niskanen s intervention Despite an attack of appendicitis, Bikila recovered in time to win the Olympic marathon once again Bikila died in 1973.Paul Rambali is a writer and broadcaster and was a rock journalist for NME during the punk era The author of two books about France and works including It s All True and In the Cities and Jungles of Brazil, a personal odyssey exploring issues of development and culture in the Third World, he also ghost wrote Phoolan Devi, the autobiography of India s Bandit Queen, which has been published in twenty six countries He now lives in Paris.

    One thought on “Barefoot Runner: The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila”

    1. Excellent book, not just an ordinary biography, but the story of a little boy tending his family's sheep in a village in Ethiopia who goes to the capital to become a member of the Emperor's personal guards, becomes an athlete trained by a Swedish trainer and eventually wins the Olympics marathon twice. An extraordinary story, well written, very human.

    2. The style took some time to get used to, but as the narrative progressed, you become so swept up in Abebe's inspirational story that the pages just keep turning themselves, just as his legs carried him relentlessly and effortlessly forwards!

    3. An inspiring look into Abebe Bikila's life, his humble background, his competitive spirit, his hard work and the tragic end to his running career. I learned a lot about Ethiopian history, beliefs and its people. A fun read.

    4. Great book! Intertwines the story of Bikila, His coach, Niskanen, and the history of Ethiopia. A well written book that is definitely worth the read.

    5. Absolutely loved the book. Couldn't put it down. Even though historical fiction I enjoyed learning about Ethiopia and the Olympic marathon. A great book to read after born to run.

    6. As a runner I was attracted to this. Just after the Olympics it seemed timely. However the narrative is so much bigger than winning an Olympic marathon barefoot.Awesome and inspiring

    7. Really enjoyed this book. Very inspiring. Having no background knowledge of Abebe Bikila or even much knowledge on Ethiopian history, I enjoyed the combination of history, context and story.

    8. ok this covers Ethiopia's entry into the Olympics following the life of two time gold medal winning long distance runner Abebe Bikilawow. its excellent.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *