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Vanessa McMahon

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The Athlete, Palm Springs 2011

Beautiful documentary style narrative portrayal of Olympic gold medal winner Abebe Bikila

played by newcomer actor Rasselas Lakew.



Plot Summary

Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown,
barefooted Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in
the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend. A hero in
his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first African to
win a gold medal, and four years later in Tokyo would become the first
person in history to win consecutive Olympic gold medals in the
marathon. This soldier and quiet son of a shepherd would be acknowledged
by many as the greatest long distance runner the world had ever known.
One evening while returning to his home in Addis Ababa from training in
the Ethiopian countryside, Bikila was involved in a tragic car accident
which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to walk and faced
with the greatest challenge of his life, he struggled to maintain his
will to live and in the process discovered a deeper meaning of
competition, taking up archery for the Paralympics and competing as a
handicapped dog sledder in Norway. Though his running career had come to
a tragic end, the race of his life had a new beginning. For the first
time, the true story of Bikila's epic quest for life and sport comes to
the big screen. Not since Raging Bull has the life of an athlete been
rendered with such emotional power and cinematic grace.

Summary written by Anonymous


The Athlete, Palm Springs 2011
Your rating: None


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