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Mamo Wolde

Full name: Mamo Wolde
Original name: ማሞ ወልዴ
Gender: Male
Height: 5-6.5 (170 cm)
Weight: 119 lbs (54 kg)
Born: June 12, 1932 in Dire Jila, Oromiya, Ethiopia
Died: May 26, 2002 in Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Country: ETH Ethiopia
Sport: Athletics

Related Olympians: Brother of Demissie Wolde.

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze (3 Total)

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 Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Men's 800 metres Ethiopia ETH 7 h1 r1/3
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Men's 1,500 metres Ethiopia ETH 11 h1 r1/2
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay Ethiopia ETH 5 h3 r1/2
1964 Summer 32 Tokyo Athletics Men's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 4
1964 Summer 32 Tokyo Athletics Men's Marathon Ethiopia ETH AC DNF
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Men's 5,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 3 h1 r1/2
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Men's 10,000 metres Ethiopia ETH 2 Silver
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Men's Marathon Ethiopia ETH 1 Gold
1972 Summer 40 München Athletics Men's Marathon Ethiopia ETH 3 Bronze

Men's 800 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat One 7 1:58.0

Men's 1,500 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H)
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat One 11 3:51.0

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Ethiopia Round One Heat One 3 QU 14:29.8 14:29.85

Men's 10,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1964 Summer 32 Tokyo Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings 4 28:31.8
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings 2 29:28.0 29:27.75

Men's Marathon

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1964 Summer 32 Tokyo Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings AC DNF
1968 Summer 36 Ciudad de México Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings 1 2-20:26.4
1972 Summer 40 München Athletics Ethiopia Final Standings 3 2-15:08.4

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A)
1956 Summer 24 Melbourne Athletics Ethiopia ETH Round One Heat Three 5 3:30.0 3:29.93
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