Gebreselassie On Why Ethiopia Produces Successful Runners

I was reading Haile Gebreselassie interview on spike magazine and the great man was asked,

Why have Ethiopians been so consistently successful in distance running? His answer was

  1. Genes – Haile Gebresellassie, Kenenisa Bekele, and Dibaba sisters were born in Bekoji. A small village in ethiopia with a population of 33,000. With such a small population their is a big chance this guys are related one way or another. See the story on Bekoji, the village of athletes
  2. Teff, an Ethiopian food, a rich grain with lots of minerals
  3. Poverty, – Ethiopian runners are one of the three wealthiest people in Ethiopia, the others are businessmen and politicians.  In a country of 80 million people, the majority live hand to mouth, and distance running offers the younger generation one of the few ways out.

    Dibaba has built a two story mansion in Bekoji village, the only other is Bekeles’. Motivated by such signs of success, thousands of kids have picked up running.

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