In 1936, the Roman dictator Benito Mussolini conquered Ethiopia,
and Abebe Bikila conquered Rome twenty years later.
As a last minute replacement for the 1960 Olympic team, Bikila was unable to find a comfortable pare of running shoes. His coaches decided he should run the hard surface 26 mile course in his bare feet.
Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefooted Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon.
Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend.
A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first African to win a gold medal, and four years later in Tokyo would become the first person in history to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the marathon.
This soldier and quiet son of a shepherd would be acknowledged by many as the greatest long distance runner the world had ever known.
One evening while returning to his home in Addis Ababa from training in the Ethiopian countryside, Bikila was involved in a tragic car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Unable to walk and faced with the greatest challenge of his life, he struggled to maintain his will to live and in the process discovered a deeper meaning of competition, taking up archery for the Paralympics and competing as a handicapped dog sledder in Norway.
Though his running career had come to a tragic end, the race of his life had a new beginning.
For the first time, the true story of Bikila's epic quest for life and sport comes to the big screen.
Not since "Raging Bull" has the life of an athlete been rendered with such emotional power and cinematic grace.
Spyros Peter Goudas has made the selections of YouTubes you are viewing.
Each one of the tubes is carefully selected to make sure that it is the right one, the correct link and portrays to you the full understanding of the article, the artist, the incident, the time it happened and why he felt it would be interesting, educational, entertaining and enjoyable.
In the instance of the Abebe Bikila link, after he completes his marathon, you will notice that there are other runners trying to finish.
Watch carefully and you will notice the determination and drive to finish of one particular runner, number 20 who is possibly Oriental and who collapses immediately upon completion of his marathon into the arms of the official.
He is also a hero in the eyes of Spyros Peter Goudas.
Please replay this Tube and find out why he feels this way.