Haile Gebreselassie, Long Distance Runner and Businessman

Haile Gebreselassie, Long Distance Runner and Businessman


What Happened:


The long distance legend, Haile Gebreselassie, joined the spotlight after he announced that he is interested to compete for a political office, most probably to be the president of the federation. Haile, who won multiple titles since 1992, first expressed his will to contribute to the political sphere in his own way, in his interview with foreign correspondents. A person doubling running with managing an ever-growing business empire, the latest addition to which is a 50,000ha coffee plantation, Haile’s ambition to joining politics is said to be a childhood dream. Haile, who, for a very long time, has been dominating 5,000m and 10,000m has recently switched toMarathon. Since 2002, Haile has won 12 marathon titles, displaying to the world that he is a peerless legend.


When It Happened:


Haile announced his will to run for political office in July, 2012. Since then, his announcement had been debatable within the varying sections of the Ethiopian public.


What to Know:


Haile become popular as he won the 5,000m and 10,000m races at the Junior World Championship of 1992.  The legendary star managed to win World Championship titles the subsequent five years since then.   Haile’s shift from track to road racing happened in 2004. Since, then, Haile won almost all titles of the races that he run. In total, Haile has broken 61 Ethiopian national records and set 27 world records in different races. Born in the Asella area of Arsi Zone, inOromiaRegionalState, in April 18, 1973, Haile is the eighth of the 10 children for his parents.




It is in 1993 that Haile become a renowned track legend winning the World Championship in 5,000m and 10,000m. It was, however, after six years that a documentary film, on the life of the legendary athlete hit the Cinemas, by the title “Endurance.” Another milestone in the life of Haile, election to the Athlete Commission of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) came four years after the release of documentary film. Haile’s debut on Marthon came in 2002 at theLondonOlympic in 2002 wherein he finished third.




It was in November, 2010, after feeling an inflammation of knee that Haile announced his retirement. Yet, later, he changed his mind and announced that he has pushed his retirement indefinitely. Lately, however, his retirement has been related to his interest to serve asEthiopia’s president. Since his statement, Ethiopians have been debating about his qualification to run a political office. Many were even critical of his interest to serve as president, a position with no functional leverage in policy making.
Personal Highlight:


Haile is married and a father of four – Eden, Melat, Betty and Nathan. Haile is said to have fallen in love with his wife in 1993 after he saw her at Jan Meda. Their first encounter involved Haile having Milk with Coffee and his current wife having Mirinda. For the past 22 years, Haile has been going to only one barbershop, Mulu Tsegur Bet, around Kazanchis. Haile’s favourite book is entitled, “Efoyta”.


In Hindsight:


Haile’s business empire employees 600 people in total. The starting fee for Haile to participate in city marathon is 250,000 dollars.

Published on Sep, 08, 2013 [ Vol 14 ,No 697]



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