Haile Gebrselassie, a long-distance runner, was born on April 18, 1973 in Asella, Arsi Province, Ethiopia and currently lives in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. His elder brother, Tekeye, is an international marathon runner and his younger brother, Belay, is also a promising runner.
To his friends and close ones he is known by his nick name “Geb”. During his childhood, Haile Gebrselassie grew up in a farm and had to run 10 kilometers daily to go to school, which laid the foundation for his running career.
In 1992, Haile Gebrselassie made his presence felt in the international sporting scene by winning the 5000 meters and 10000 meters races at the 1992 Junior World Championships in Seoul and also won a silver medal in the Junior Race at the World Cross Country Championships. In the following year, he won the World Championships title in the Men's 10000 meters. In 1994, he set his first world record by
running 5000 meter with a timing of 12:56.96.
In 1995, Haile Gebrselassie ran the 5000 meters in an astonishing 12:44.39 minutes at Zürich, Switzerland and broke the world record 12:55.30, which was earlier held by Kenya’s Moses Kiptanui. This world record at the Weltklasse meet in Zürich was voted "Performance of the Year" by Track and Field News magazine. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Haile Gebrselassie won his first Olympic gold in the 10000 meter race.
Couple of years later, in Hengelo, Netherlands, Haile Gebrselassie set a 10000 meters world record by finishing with 26:22.75 and broke Paul Tergat's world record of 26:27.85. He maintained his good form in 2000, by winning all the events in which he participated and ranked first in 5000 and 10000 meters race category. With this success run, he entered the 2000 Sydney Olympics and became the third man in history to successfully defend an Olympic 10000 meters title after Emil Zátopek and Lasse Virén.
Haile Gebrselassie made his debut in marathon by participating in the London Marathon and finished third. At the 2004 Athens Olympics, he missed out on the 10000 meters race; following this race he stopped taking part in track events. In 2005, Haile Gebrselassie went undefeated in all of his road races, which includes a British All-Comers record in the 10K at Manchester, a win in the Amsterdam Marathon by setting the record for the fastest marathon time in the world for 2006 (2:06:20), and a new world best for 10 miles in Tilburg, Netherlands (44:24).
Haile Gebrselassie started 2006 on a promising note by beating the world half marathon record, which he broke on the American soil. In the same event, he also broke Paul Tergat's 20 km record and also broke the 25 km world road record. In 2007, he made his running debut in New York City by winning the New York City Half Marathon.
Haile Gebrselassie decided not to take part in the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to high air pollution levels in the city.
He starred in the movie Endurance, which was based on his life and career. Haile Gebrselassie wants to enter politics after retiring from the sport.