Mirutse Yifter, Ethiopia’s legendary athlete, laid to rest at Kidist Selassie Menbere Tsebaot church along side Ethiopian Patriot.
The funeral took place today around 2 :00 pm local time, hours after his body arrived at Bole International Airport to a hero’s welcome.
His funeral was attended by dignitaries including athletes, families and friends. Ethiopian Athletic Federation president, Haile Gebresellasie, said that Mirutse Yifter was exemplary for his athletic career and for other athletes as well.
“I am really sad and I have a great memory of him” Said Eshetu Tola who,along with Mirutse Yifter, represented Ethiopia, and Africa as well, at the first International Association of Atheletics Federations world cup in 1977 at Düsseldorf, in what was then part of West Germany.
Tolossa Kotu, another athlete from Mirutse Yifter Ethiopian athletics era, said “Mirutse is my friend and we have made history together. I am really sad that he passed away ; particularly I am sad that he passed away in exile.”
Another great athlete of what many say is from Ethiopia’s golden time, Wami Biratu, said , “Mirutse didn’t die. He is resting. He made history for Ethiopia and Africa. He won six gold medals in just one month.”
Mitrutse Yifter passed away last week in a hospital in Toronto, Canada. He has eight children.
Mirutse is revered by Ethiopians for his invincibility that helped put the name Ethiopia in the map of world middle distance running success and he was the first world and Olympic champion in 5000 meters from Africa.
Born in Zalambessa, Tigray, Mirutse started his early running career in Asmara, then only capital of Ethiopian province of Eritrea. He later found himself as a member of Ethiopian Air Force Athletics and an all time Ethiopian Great runner,Abebe Bikila, initiated and influenced the process.
Mirutse is is also known among Ethiopians for his loyalty for Ethiopia. We will have another post about it as a tribute for his contribution and loyalty for Ethiopia. check back.
Video credit : Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation page on facebook.