Ethiopian Olympic Team on the London 2012 Opening Ceremony
The London Olympic Games officially kicked-off last night with the captivating opining ceremony dubbed “The Isles of Wonder” directed by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle which is expected to be viewed by a billion people worldwide.
The magnificent opening ceremony was viewed as the start of yet another unique Olympiad where history will be made and new heroes will come to the forefront. Ethiopians would also be glued to their TV sets as the 34-member athletics team largely composed of young athletes makes a stride towards the medals. All in all, the Ethiopian Olympic side had 64 members which includes two swimmers, a category the country has not competed in Olympic Games before.
The two swimmers joined the Olympic team through universal access window. On the other hand, the man who has managed to dominate Ethiopia’s athletics scene in the last four Olympic Games, Haile Gebrselassie, will not hit the tracks. Haile stayed on the top of his game since 1996, winning two gold medals in 10,000 meters in Atlanta and the famous Haile-Tergat stand-off at the Sydney Olympics. He also participated in the Athens and Beijing Olympics claiming fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
However, his dream of running for Ethiopia in the most challenging race—the Marathon and becoming part of the legacy of legends like Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde was disrupted when he decided to abandon his plan of taking part in the Beijing Olympics marathon in the nick of time. All the running that he did this time is as an Olympic torchbearer, while scores of young Ethiopian athletes get a shot at carrying the Olympic legacy.