The Legend of Abebe Bikala – the barefoot Olympian

The marathon is the stuff of legends and is a really a challenging event to complete, even for athletes that are prepared. The marathon goes for 26.2 miles and it is difficult on the body, particularly the feet which is the reason all marathon athletes usually spend a huge amount of effort on and give a huge amount of attention to exactly what it is that they have on their feet. Marathoners do devote lots of time finding the appropriate running shoes and a lot of money is involved with athletic shoes with it being a large business. Back at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, Abebe Bikala from Ethiopia had been a eleventh hour inclusion in the team, so that when he joined the team to get fitted with all the team gear there were no running footwear remaining in the teams supplies which will suit him. Instead of wearing the incorrect size he wanted to do the marathon without footwear and then proceeded to win the gold medal. This can be the stuff that legends are made from.

His success in doing this is typically commended as something remarkable and well worthy of legend reputation. Not too long ago there was a fad with a sizeable number of runners promoting that running shoes aren’t that necessary and they are not all they are thought to be. These runners had been advocating barefoot running much like nature intended because which is the way that we evolved. Historically human beings had to run significant distances to survive as animals had to be hunted by running over long distances and this was done without resorting to running shoes. The running shoes are only a comparatively recent product.

Those who suggest the barefoot method of running suggest the achievements of Abebe Bikala as more substantiation that we usually do not have the need for athletic shoes for running and that barefoot is advisable. Abebe Bikala winning gold medal at the Rome Olympics without running shoes undoubtedly indicates that it is possible to do it. Even so, he subsequently continued to win the gold medal and break the world record in the marathon event at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic games. This time he was making use of appropriate running footwear. This means that he had the ability to run faster when he was using running footwear. The accomplishments of him were important however making use of them as evidence that it’s better to not use running shoes and run barefoot will not stack up to analysis.

Abebe Bikala was born on August 7, 1932. His accomplishment in winning the Rome Olympics marathon had been the very first gold medal received by an athlete from the African continent. On March 22, 1969, he was seriously injured after a car crash and he never walked again, passing away October 25, 1973 at the age of 41 from problems. There’s a athletic field in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that was named after him. You can find a number of biographies and movies about him and recording his sports career and the impressive achievements against numerous odds. The majority of publications about the marathon as well as the Olympics feature accounts about him.

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