Kanavu cross country run

Haile Gebrselassie: A Legendary Distance Running Icon

Early Life:

Haile Gebrselassie, born on April 18, 1973, in Asella, Ethiopia, had humble beginnings that laid the foundation for his extraordinary running career. He ran an impressive 10 kilometers to and from school every day, unknowingly honing his natural running talents.

Career Highlights:

Olympic Triumph

Haile’s journey to greatness began with Olympic glory. He clinched two gold medals in the 10,000 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and successfully defended his title in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

World Championships Dominance

Gebrselassie’s dominance was not limited to the Olympics; he also claimed numerous gold medals in the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters at the World Championships.

World Records Galore

Haile’s name is etched in history with a staggering 27 world records. His remarkable achievements spanned distances from 5000 meters to the marathon.

Epic Rivalry

A legendary rivalry with Kenya’s Paul Tergat produced iconic races and record-breaking performances, captivating the world of distance running.

Marathon Mastery

Transitioning to marathons, Haile made his debut at the 2002 London Marathon, showcasing his versatility. He excelled in prestigious marathons like Berlin, Dubai, and Fukuoka, repeatedly claiming victory and setting records.

Marathon World Record

In 2008, Gebrselassie set an astonishing marathon world record, crossing the finish line at the Berlin Marathon in an unprecedented 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 59 seconds.

Retirement and Beyond:

Farewell to Competitive Running

After finishing 16th in the Great Manchester Run on May 7, 2015, Haile officially announced his retirement from competitive running. This marked the end of an illustrious career that had spanned decades.

Enduring Love for Running

While retiring from competition, Haile Gebrselassie expressed his commitment to running as a lifelong passion.

Business Ventures

Beyond the track, Haile ventured into entrepreneurship. He established various businesses, including hotels, resorts, a Hyundai car dealership, and real estate projects

Coffee Empire

Gebrselassie’s interests extended to coffee. His brand, “Haile Estate,” is distributed by Starbucks Reserve, showcasing his success in the coffee industry.

Legacy and Impact:

Running Immortality

Haile Gebrselassie’s name will forever be synonymous with distance running greatness. His career is a testament to his unmatched talent, unwavering dedication, and unparalleled endurance.

Global Icon

Haile’s impact extended beyond athletics. He became an iconic figure globally, inspiring countless aspiring athletes to pursue their dreams.

Philanthropic Endeavors

Haile Gebrselassie continues to contribute to his homeland through various philanthropic endeavors, making a positive impact on Ethiopia’s communities.


Haile Gebrselassie’s journey from running 10 kilometers to school to becoming a global running icon is a story of sheer determination and talent. His Olympic triumphs, world records, marathon mastery, and enduring love for running have left an indelible mark on the world of sports. Beyond athletics, his successful business ventures and philanthropic efforts showcase a well-rounded legacy that continues to inspire generations. Haile Gebrselassie, the legendary distance running icon, will forever be celebrated for his remarkable contributions to the sport and the world.