Barefoot Runner

Un libro in lingua di Paul Rambali edito da Serpents Tail, 2007

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Abebe Bikila was the first African to win an Olympic gold medal. He won the marathon running barefoot in Rome in 1960 and won again - wearing shoes this time - in Tokyo four years later, becoming the first person to win the most gruelling of all human contests twice. His story has never before been told.
Born in a village on Ethiopia's high plateau, Bikila joined the Imperial Guard of Emperor Haile Selassie, where he came to the notice of Swedish athletics coach, Onni Niskanen. Selassie believed that through sports his nation - and the African continent - could earn the world's respect, and the humble Guardsman became the focus of these ambitions. Following his spectacular victory at the 1960 Olympics, however, Bikila's life took a dramatic turn when he was implicated in a coup against the emperor and sentenced to hang.
Barefoot Runner relates his marathon battles and recounts a personal marathon - from shepherd boy to Olympic legend - telling how Bikila's final destiny became fatally entwined with the decline and fall of Ethiopia's last emperor.

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