7 Sept-7 Oct 2010. The Italian Cultural Institute (IIC) is hosting a photographic exhibition dedicated to the legendary Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila to mark the 50th anniversary of his marathon victory at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome. Other related events in Addis Ababa include the unveiling of a statue of the athlete on 15 Sept and a marathon, a 10 km public run and a 3 km run for the disabled on 19 Sept.
Born in 1932 and the son of a shepherd, in summer 1960 Bikila became the first black African to win a gold medal in the Olympic games, winning the marathon in a record time of 2:15:1.62, having run the course barefoot. He went on to win the marathon in the 1964 games in Tokyo before losing the use of the lower part of his body in a motor accident in 1969. He died from accident-related complications four years later, in 1973.
The IIC exhibition opens on 7 Sept at 18.30.