Actually Maybe Haile Gebrselassie is the best Athlete of all time


A couple days ago I wrote an article in which I argued that Lance Armstrong was not only the greatest cyclist in history, but the greatest athlete to compete in any sport ever. Such statements are designed to get a lot of people riled up so that they start throwing rancid vegetables at you, but due to the fact that I'm writing this for an American audience (and not...for example...a French one) the Lance Armstrong statement stood without too much contention.

We'll if nobody's going to contest my assertions, then I'M going to contest them!

The other day for some unbeknownst reason I decided to look up the world record mark for the marathon and, yup, you guessed it, the guy that currently owns it is Haile Gebrselassie (It's pronounced "give-burger-to-lassie" in case you were wondering). Mr. Giveburgerlassie sprinted through the legendary 26.2 in an impressive 2 hours THREE minutes :59 seconds.

Wow...impressive stuff.

But the thing that makes old Haile impressive (apart from the fact that they just give him a bib that says "Haile" as opposed to a number), is that at one point or another he's had the world record in basically every distance between 2 miles and the marathon. Check him out on Wikipedia (which I assume has accurate information on THIS at least).

Oddly enough, I'd heard about Haile because of a movie (it's a dramatization that is shot like a documentary) called Endurance that for some unknown reason just appeared one night on Peruvian TV. Well, it's available on Amazon obviously, but not on DVD...who knows why? Anyway, it shows what you'd expect of a movie about a guy from Ethiopia who became the greatest runner of all time (there's a lot of scenes where he's running the 12+ miles it takes to get to school as a tiny child and getting savagely beaten when he arrives like .2 seconds late).

Well, apparently he learned the lesson and nobody can accuse him of ever arriving late anymore, so I for one think he should be sending that teacher a fruit basket with every new record...sigh...teacher's are never appreciated now are they?

Anyway, let's hear it for Haile Gebrselassie, and let's see if we can get him in a CyclovaXC singlet when those things become available (they're sure to shave a couple seconds off that record time right there).

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