Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon. A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first black African to win a gold medal.
Four years later, Abebe successfully defended his Rome gold at the '64 Tokyo Olympiad, winning by the widest margin in history and becoming the first person to win consecutive Olympic marathons. Bikila is considered by many the greatest long-distance runner in history. But his life story only began with Olympic medals.
One evening while returning to his home in Addis Ababa after training in the Ethiopian countryside, fate would present this remarkable champion with his greatest challenge.