Derartu Tulu born March 21, 1972 in Bekoji, Ethiopia.
Derartu is the first African female to win Olympic Gold. And Abebe Bikila was the first African ever
to win Olympic Gold. Ethiopia is home to these great athlets and many more
10000m Gold Barcelona 1992
10000m Gold Sydney 2000
A member of the Oromo ethnic group, Derartu Tulu grew up tending cattle in the
Arsi highlands of Ethiopia. She did not realize that she was an unusually fast
runner until she was 16 years old. In the 10,000m final at the 1992 Olympics,
Elana Meyer of South Africa pulled away from the field after 6,100m and only
Tulu was able to keep pace with her. Meyer tried to force Tulu to pass her,
but Tulu refused.
Finally, just before the start of the last lap, Tulu darted into the lead and went on to win by
30 metres. She waited for Meyer at the finish line, and then Tulu, the first black African
woman to earn an Olympic medal, and Meyer, a white South African, set off hand in
hand for a victory lap that symbolized hope for a new Africa. Tulu returned to the Olympic
in 1996, but finished a disappointing fourth. However, her running career was far from over.
At the 2000 Sydney Games, Tulu again entered the 10,000m. Regaining her form of eight
years earlier, she took the lead at the bell signaling the final lap and sprinted
ahead to a clear victory over teammate Gete Wami. Tulu became the first woman to win two
gold medals in Olympic distance races. At the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, she won the
bronze medal in the 10,000m (gold medallist was China's Huina Xing, silver medallist,
Derartu's compatriot Ejegayehu Dibaba).
(source: International Olympic Commitee )