Feyisa Lilesa misses the life he had in Ethiopia and will be happy to run for his country anytime if he is asked to
Rio Olympic Marathon medalist, Feyisa Lilesa, seeks to run for Ethiopia again if gets a chance to, he told BBC Amharic service in a report published today.
But what made Feyisa Lilesa famous around the world more than the Olympic medal is the protest sign he showed as he was crossing the finish line. He crossed his arm above his head to show the world the level of repression in Ethiopia.
He is quoted as saying, “I grew up witnessing how bad the regime is. I did not even start school when I saw people being beaten. My father also opposed the regime. All those experiences since childhood suppressed in me which gave me strength to explode it”
He continued to show protest sign whenever he has a race. And he says he feels very elated when he shows the protest sign: “I feel anger,sadness,happiness and strength at the same time when I show the protest sign”
Of course he decided not to return to Ethiopia after he protested and he knew that his decision was not going to be an easy one.
He reunited with his wife and two children in February 2017 after leading a lonely life in the United States for six months. But he did not waste it all as he was busy making appearances to numerous public events in the diaspora to add voice against violations of human rights in his country Ethiopia.
Currently settled in Phoenix, Arizona, he says he miss his life back in Ethiopia but “I knew this [exile life ] would happen and that is why I am taking it easy.”
Addressing the question “what country you will run for,” which is lingering in the minds of Ethiopians, he said ” I am not running for any country right now and I am ready to run for my country Ethiopia anytime I am asked to do so. And I will be very happy to run for my country”
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