What can you say about Haile Gebrselassie that has not been said? Since his first appearance in global junior championships in 1992, Haile has been unique. His enthusiasm, his focus, and his spirit have made him one of the most popular athletes in the world, in any sport.
Mo Greene, Haile Gebrselassie, Yohan Blake, adidas BOOST event,
photo courtesy of adidas communications
To this writer, spending a day with Gebrselassie in 2006, is second only to spending a day in 1991 with the late Emil Zatopek. For five years, Track & Field News gave Haile Gebrselassie the nod as the best athlete in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. Gebrselassie won gold medals in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 World Championships, golds in 1996 and 2000 Olympics, and in 2001, his silver was one of his most masterful races over 10,000 meters.
His 2000 Olympic win, over Paul Tergat, may have been Gebrselassie’s greatest race ever. Go onto You Tube and watch the race. Paul Tergat charges by, and it only in the last few meters that Haile Gebrselassie charges to the gold, using perfect timing and that last, last bit of energy desire in one amazing grasp for first.
His internship at the marathon surprised some. Haile Gebrselassie took a bit of time to get the marathon, and then, he took the world record down, and down. His desire to win was only overcome when his body could not support his focus.
The scary thing is, Haile has held world records 25 to 27 times, depending on whose counting, and my guess is, the guy will surprise us with another before he “changes his track suit for a business suit,”, his own prediction and words.
Haile Gebrselassie was one of three athletes at the adidas Energy BOOST event in New York City on February 13, 2013. Like an old friend, Haile sat down and spoke with the Shoe Addicts, the digital partners for Runblogrun.com , and spoke about the adidas Energy Boost, and running….