Controversies of the legendary Athlete Haile Gebrselassie


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Haile is a controversial athlete. He is criticized for the comments he gives on different stages. Especially for his political comment. Before Abiy came to power Haile gave a comment saying Democracy is a luxury, which led to him being highly criticized. After Abiy’s Era though, those who have noticed how irrationally people kept acting, admitted Haile might have a point in saying democracy was a luxury.  

Another time, the comment he gave regarding the rumors spreading around about Gete Wami, was received by a lot of complaint by The orthodox Tewahdo community.  

Recently, Haile has been showing involvement in politics.

The other controversial issue was the statement that he thinks the Ethiopian government should closely regulate the use of Social media platforms like Facebook and even shut them down if needed. This too was met by a lot of disagreements. But that didn’t stop him, he even made a claim that he could sue Facebook.

Now let’s dive in deeper 

Haile started out as an athlete and then became a great business man who was able to achieve so much. He attains whatever he sets his mind on and most o his prophecies have been fulfilled. His saying “we can do it” has been a famous motivation for all of Ethiopia. He has never been defeated when he believed he can do it. He never claims he would win unless he’s confident enough. And now these days, he’s been giving a lot of comments to the media about recent happenings.  

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1. From being an athlete to being a wealthy business man

Haile has been a symbol of athletic greatness for Ethiopia much like Abebe Bikila. He has been a record breaker in Zurich, Sydney, Athens and more than 27 competitions. He was also a victor in multiple championships and has brought many Ethiopian to happy tears. Many athletes were frightened to compete with him, even some has scolded him during competitions. To simply show the kind of determined person he is, its enough to watch the famous last minute rivalry between him and the Kenyan athlete Portergat. He not only made Ethiopia proud but also earned himself a handsome amount of money. Having made himself wealthy with this amount of money, he did not want to just retire and live an easy life. Rather his solid discipline made him work hard to become a great business man. He has employed over 20 thousand people, has opened more than 5 resorts all over Ethiopia, has invested in many sectors including agriculture. It looks his “we can do it” principle has been fulfilled. The biggest evidence for this is The great Ethiopian run. It has been running for 19 years now earning millions of birr and being globally recognized as one of the biggest festivals in Africa. 

As he told Seifu fantahun, His goal now is to be on Forbes magazine.                                       Regarding money, rumors un around saying he is stingy. But he admits that he doesn’t just given money to someone who hasn’t worked for it. But recently he’s being involved in some charity works. 

2. Involvement in Politics 

Along with being a business man he’s also getting into politics. he arbitrated the negotiation that helped in the release of prisoned members of Coalition for unity and democracy party.

3. Running for election 

Once on an interview on CCTv with Journalist Girum Chala, He revealed he wants to run for election to join the house of representatives and also become the president or prime minister of Ethiopia. Many have criticized him for this statement saying politics is much complicated than athletics.He hasn’t spoken about it much since then except once on an interview saying it an inevitable matter. He’s dream to become a president was somehow realized in him becoming the president of the Ethiopian athletics federation. Because of some political comments he made Some suspected he might be associated with TPLF. The suspicions were intensified when he left his presidency during the “government change”. As found out later on, some athletes highly influenced his dismissal from power. people also say those some who wanted to abuse resources colluded with the athletes against him. 

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