In Addis Ababa, a monument to Abebe Bikila -- the only marathon runner to win two Olympic titles -- was unveiled on Sunday (27 October).
SV and CU Bikila on training run in Olympic Training Centre
Background: In Addis Ababa, a monument to Abebe Bikila -- the only marathon runner to win two Olympic titles -- was unveiled on Sunday (27 October).
A special memorial service was held in the main cemetery in Ethiopia's capital, and was attended by representatives of the country's armed forces and 10,000 civilians.
Abebe Bikila, a captain in the Imperial Bodyguard of the now deposed Emperor Haile Selassie, won his titles at the 1960 Rome Games, and four years later in Tokyo.
He was paralysed from the hips down after a car accident in 1969 and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He tried to continue his athletics career and took part in paraplegic games. But his health declined rapidly and he died at the age of 41. He left a widow and four children.
SYNOPSIS: Bikila's youngest son led a group of children with flowers for Bikila's grave. Bikila left three sons and a daughter. A wreath was also laid on behalf of Ethiopia's athletes.
Bikila's mother was overwhelmed by memories of her son. She was supported by her grand-daughter -- Bikila's only daughter.