Modern sports has a history of over half a century in Ethiopia. Amid scores of popular sports, great distance running has a special place in Ethiopia. It is the sports activity that has made Ethiopia famous in the world of sports events.
The country's first Olympic game participation was recorded in 1956; Marathon and the Medalist was Called Abebe Bekila. What made his winning was that he ran bare footed. From that time on, Ethiopia except on 1976, 1984 and 1988 has been involved in every Summer olympic games. Also on 2006 it took part in its first Winter Olympic game that was held in Turin.
Ethiopia's current status in the world of competitive events particularly in the field of distance running stands second at the Sydney Olympic Games and the Edmonton World Cup Marathon, where Ethiopians won the country a total of 50 medals, 20 of them gold. Though the ranking and number of medals have dropped significatly, Ethiopia has collected 7 medals of which 3 are Gold in the recent 2012 London Olympic.
Among the many renowned Athletes in the country, Haile Gebreselassie is the world's most fameous athlete. He has smashed world records 27 times.He was the record holder in 2000, 5000 and 10000 track and field and indoor track competitions. Winner of Jessie Owns Cup and Africa's best athlete; Haile is the winner in 3000, 5000 and 10000 meters international competitions that took place in Paris, Athens, Gruenberg, Henglo, Zurich, Oslo, Stockholm, Quatar and many more. Then the most accomplished runner called Kenenisa Bekele followed his foot step and reset the 10000m world record.
Fita Baissa, Assefa Mezgebu, Million wolde, Gezahagne Abera, Slishi Sehen and G/Egziyabehire G/Mariam are among the notables who won various competitions around the global.
And the female athletes list include, Derartu Tulu (Olympic record holder at sydeny) is a cross-country championship winner in Bulgaria, Holland and the States; Gete Wami and Fatuma Roba have also several success stories under their belts. They were successfully followed by Tirunesh Debaba, Meseret Defare and Genzebe Debaba.