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Mamo Wolde

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 1
Total 3
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameMamo•Wolde
Used nameMamo•Wolde
Original nameማሞ •ወልዴ
Born12 June 1932 in Dire Jila (ETH)
Died26 May 2002 in Addis Ababa (ETH)
Measurements170 cm / 54 kg
NOC(s) Ethiopia

Biography

Mamo Wolde first ran in the Olympics in 1956 for Ethiopia and competed in Olympic track & field over every distance from 400 metres thru the marathon. Starting as a middle-distance runner, he competed in the 800 and 1500 in 1956, and also ran the 4×400 relay for Ethiopia that year. But he became better known as a distance runner and marathoner, winning a 10K silver medal in 1968 and succeeding his countryman, Abebe Bikila as marathon champion that year.

A hero in his native country, Wolde’s life was spared in the 80s when Mengistu Haile Mariam began a Marxist dictatorship and killed 1,000s of Ethiopians, saving Wolde because of his fame. But Mariam was ousted in 1991, and in 1993, Mariam sympathizers were imprisoned and Wolde was considered among them. He was accused of killing a 15-year-old boy. Wolde was an Army officer and related that another officer killed the boy, but that he was told to fire a second bullet to finish the job, only to fire and miss on purpose. Wolde remained imprisoned for six years, despite several legal efforts, and a campaign among world-wide Olympians to have him freed. He died of chronic liver problems only two years after being released from prison.

Personal Bests: 400 – unknown; 800 – unknown; 1500 – unknown; 5000 – 13:38.8 (1967); 10000 – 28:31.8 (1964); Mar – 2-15.09 (1972).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics 800 metres, Men Olympic 7 h1 r1/3 Representing Ethiopia    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 11 h1 r1/2
  4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic Ethiopia 5 h3 r1/2
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing Ethiopia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 4
  Marathon, Men Olympic AC
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics 5,000 metres, Men Olympic 3 h1 r1/2 Representing Ethiopia    
  10,000 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  Marathon, Men Olympic 1 Gold
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics Marathon, Men Olympic 3 Bronze Representing Ethiopia    

Other participations

Games Role Details
1972 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Representing Ethiopia    

Olympic family relations