Wednesday, 7th August 2013 – Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian marathon runner and the first Sub-Saharan African to win an Olympic gold medal, has been honoured with his very own Google Doodle to celebrate what would have been his 81st birthday.
Bikila, born on 7 August 1932, sprinted to success when he beat competitors in the 1960 Summer Olympics marathon, barefoot – the way he had trained for the race. He won in record time, finishing 25 seconds ahead of race rival, Rhadi.
In 1964, Bikila made history again, breaking the world record for the marathon, coming in at 4 minutes and 8 seconds in front of the silver medallist. He was the first athlete in history to win the Olympic marathon twice.
“I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination”, said the athlete. Abebe Bikila passed away at the age of 41 in 1973, and was proclaimed an Ethiopian national hero.