Retired Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) as part of the AIMS Best Marathon Awards held Friday at the Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece.
In a statement on AIMS’ website, the president of the organization, Paco Borao, spoke highly of the two-time Olympic winner.
“We are honored to be able to recognize the achievements of Haile Gebrselassie and his unrivalled contribution to the marathon movement and world sport. Haile’s success has been an inspiration to so many throughout Africa and around the world and his dedication is an example we can all follow.”
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Reacting to the win, the 43-year-old tweeted:
What an honor to receive the AIMS Lifetime Achievement Award in Athens tonight, thank you! pic.twitter.com/fSZcH3u29O
— Haile Gebrselassie (@HaileGebr) November 11, 2016
This is the second time Gebrselassie has been recognized in November. Earlier this month, he was selected as president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation.
Prior to retiring, Gebrselassie had a hugely successful career spanning two decades. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has documented his athletic flexibility over the years, as he transitioned from running 1,500 meters to the official marathon distance of 42 kilometers.
CBC ranks the four-time Ethiopian World Athletics champion among the greatest athletes of all time, comparable to other long-distance runners, such as Kenyan Kipchoge Keino and the late Emil Zatopek from the Czech Republic.