Haile Gebreselassie for Prime Minister ?

Plans political career when he finally retires

Haile Gebrselassie, back in full training after rescinding a premature decision to retire, is eyeing a political career when he finally hangs up his running shoes.

“I want to do something for Ethiopia, for Africa, for myself, my family and my people. You know, what is the best to do to pay back those people who were supporting me all these years,” the 37-year-old Ethiopian told Reuters in an interview.

“To be involved in politics as prime minister, as president, minister if this gives something back, then why not?”

However Gebrselassie, who plans to crown a glittering running career by competing in the 2012 London Olympics marathon, ruled out campaigning in the next general elections in five years’ time.

“Don’t you think it is too early? Because I have to do lots of things,” he said after he was inducted into Johnnie Walker whisky’s “Walk with Giants” campaign.

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Haile Gebrselassie

“Athletics is one thing, the business is the other. I have to do things properly.”

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After shattering 27 world records in nearly two decades, Gebrselassie suffered an unexpected niggle on his right knee just before the start of this year’s New York City marathon

He dropped out midday and then shocked bewildered journalists by announcing his retirement.

Gebrselassie subsequently reversed his decision, partly in response to appeals from the Ethiopian public,  and is now back to his gruelling training regimen in the hills just north of Addis Ababa, as well as in his gym.

“I am back to my normal programme, what I did before. I do 35 kilometres in two sessions a day,” he said.

“One of the things I want to tell people is that I am not making plans to retire. Now I am preparing for London 2012.”

TOKYO MARATHON

The world record holder is planning to run the Tokyo marathon on Feb. 27 next year.

“It’s wonderful to be back. It was a bit strange for everybody, strange for me as well,” he said.

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“I started my training two weeks ago and I am doing well now.”

The Horn of Africa nation has been criticised for heavy-handed treatment of its opposition party figures and Gebrselassie, himself, was rumoured to have been the victim of government foul play.

A report on an opposition party-linked website blamed his short-lived retirement on pressure, saying Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s wife was attempting to force the multi-millionaire into business partnerships.

Another article in The New York Times quoted his manager Jos Hermens as saying his phone had been tapped by government officials and he had faced “some sort of blackmail attempt”.

Both Gebrselassie and Hermens have denied the New York Times report and said fatigue and emotion were responsible for Gebrselassie’s tearful outburst in New York.

In the meantime the ‘Emperor’, as he is known in his home country, is continuing to pursue a successful business career, He owns a five-star hotel, a cinema, a few office blocks as well as a car dealership.

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18 Comments

  1. This is exactly the best example how our mind is set up and as a result we ended up where we are now……not growing, not changing! we should be supporting, instead we criticize those who try to do things differently….don’t feel bad tho…..that is the fact…..Am proud of Him. It’s a matter of dedication and commitment. He is dedicated and committed to his running and showed the world that it can be done. and as long as he is going to do the same for politics, there is no doubt he would be succeeding!! ma’salama

  2. actually it is a good thing if he thinks so. the question is, because we are desperate to see a change in our political landscape can we push some one to that position because we like him to be there?. plz let us hear from him first. what can convince me to give my support to some one is not his success in his career but what he plan to deliver to Ethiopia. success in athletic may or may not be transferred to political success. good luck.

  3. For the man who thinks we are judging Halie, we are not. Let me speak for my self, I am not. The fact of the matter is, Halie G is a well respected and much loved sports man, not only in Ethiopia but the World. I admired his tenacity and hard working to be the man he is today and we all love him for that.
    But the reason I said what I said on this panel is not to judge the man or to disrespect him, but I don’t think a man who dedicated his life with in his career for many years has got what it takes to be a politician. Don’t give me wrong, I know Politicians come from all walks of life but he doesn’t even have the personality to be a politician. Great men are almost always bad men but not Halie, and to be a politician one has to be a very bad man. He evaluate his reasons why he wants to become a politician. He said he loves his country and his people, and he wants to give something back. That is very kind, but if you want to give to your people and country something back Halie, dig your bank, give money. Open an orphanage, there are many of your people suffering of Aids and other problems, help those people if you want to give something back. Deep down we all know you are not going to give anything back to the people or Country by becoming a politician. As far as I am concerned Politician takes from people and the country, not the other way round.
    So I want to conclude my opinion by saying, my friends you are entitled to give your opinion as you like, it is a free world. I don’t think for a minute we are where we are because we are negative people and we criticized instead of support, that is a complete bollocks. One should know when to support and when to oppose. It affronted me when people say dat. As far as I am concerned we are where we are because of some lazy ass people and highly sophisticated like mined thief Politician used our money for their own satisfactions. I love Meles Z thou xx

    P.S My dearest Halie G, I love and respect you much. You made us known for a good thing in the World for a change. Ethiopia used to known as no food land because of the famine. People used to think we survived by eating grass but you helped us to change those negative views about Ethiopia. Now we are known as a great runners city. I highly recommend you to continue that legacy, help young people to achieve their dreams to become another Halie and continue your work around the world. I will support you to do than 100%. Please don’t become politician, they will eat you alive. Respect!!!

  4. would u belive that ” poletical struggle” is the same as running contest. oh i think u are confused by the slogan ” we can make it ” while there are things which u never, never can make to happen. loooooool

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