Ethiopia: Body of Miruts Yifter laid to rest in Addis Ababa


ESAT News (January 2, 2017)

The body of Olympic legend, Miruts Yifter, was laid to rest on Sunday at the Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. He received a hero’s welcome and his fans paid tribute as his coffin was paraded on the main boulevards of the capital.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist died last Thursday after a battle with respiratory ailment. He won gold in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter race at the 1980 Moscow Olympic and was given the nickname “Yifter the shifter” for his sudden and swift finish in the last round of races.

His first Olympic was in Munich in 1972 where he won bronze in 10,000 meter but did not compete in the 5,000 as he was late for the start of the race.

Miruts Yifter was an inspiration to the then young athletes of Ethiopia, in the likes of Haile Gebreselassie and Derartu Tulu, both Olympic gold medalists.

He left his country in 1997, unhappy about government’s handling of human rights, he told the New York Times that year.

He is survived by his wife and eight children.