Reigning Olympic champion, 30-year-old Kenenisa Bekele, is an extraordinary Ethiopian long-distance runner looking to set a record by winning his third 10,000-meter gold medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. According to the Guardian UK, Bekele says: “History has a big place in my heart. It is not easy to achieve three Olympic titles, and it will be great if I can do it. I have been thinking about it a lot.”
It is clear that Bekele has set his sights on winning the Olympic title one more time. His journey to the 2012 London Summer Olympics has not been smooth; Bekele was banned from the Ethiopian Olympics delegation earlier this year, for not attending a national training camp. Fortunately, Bekele proved himself at the Aviva 2012 Trials by defeating the best that Ethiopia had to offer in the 10,000m race.
In a report done earlier this year, Athletics Weekly stated that even though Bekele “didn’t quite look like the all-conquering athlete who dominated the distance running between 2003 and 2009” at the Aviva Trials, “he was plenty strong enough to out-sprint the best that his home country had to offer. …”
At the trials he broke the 17-year record all-comers record, set by Burundi’s Aloys Nizigama, when he completed the 10,000m race in 27:02:59. Bekele’s athletic history is definitely one of note, and he is definitely a promising medal contender in both the 5,000m and 10,000m events at this year’s Olympics. He strongly believes that as an athlete, results are the only indicator of success. Bekele’s results are one of a kind: In 2009, the Ethiopian athlete was the first man to win both the 5,000m and 10,000m titles at the World Championships. He was also the first athlete in history to hold the Olympic champion, world outdoor track champion, world indoor track champion, and world cross country champion titles at the same time. In addition to his already impressive athletic profile, Bekele has also won six 12km and five 4km titles at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, making him the most accomplished cross country runner in IAAF's cross country history. Bekele’s results prove that he is one of the greatest athletes of all time.
However, after a succession of injuries, Bekele lost his first track race in 2011 at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics after a nine-year winning streak between 2003 and 2011. The long-distance star’s confidence was restored three weeks later in Brussels when he won a 10,000m race. He completed the race in 26:43.16 minutes, which was a faster time than Mo Farah, believed to be Kenenisa Bekele’s main competition. However, after this year’s Olympics, Bekele plans to change his focus onto marathon running. He endeavors to make a name for himself in the marathon running scene as a “one last dream,” according to the Guardian.
On a personal level, Bekele has been working on a project to develop a new stadium in the town of Saluta. His project started taking form after the death of his fiancé, Alem Techale, in 2005. The cause of Techale’s death was reportedly a heart attack, even though she was in good health. However, this tragedy sparked an idea in Bekele’s mind to build a stadium, as there are very few stadiums in Ethiopia. This remarkable athlete has his sights set on great things, and he is on his way to adding to his already flourishing career.