Top 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

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Haile Gebrselassie is a renowned retired Ethiopian long-distance track and road running athlete born on April 18, 1973. He has won two Olympic gold medals and four World Championship titles in the events during his career. Later, he gained four world titles indoors, and in 2001 he became the World Half Marathon Champion.

Moreover, he breaks 61 Ethiopian national records ranging from 800 meters to the marathon, set a total of 27 world records that made him one of the greatest distance runners in history. He accepts every new challenge that made him unique. The following 68 quotes can be beneficial to you. Do check once.

Haile Gebrselassie with his fans
Haile Gebrselassie with his fans


“When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“When I run in Ethiopia, I look out and see eucalyptus trees and rivers.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“You lose the speed before the stamina.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I feel a social responsibility. We need to open people’s eyes. There is a lack of education in Ethiopia.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“You need three things to win: discipline, hard work and, before everything maybe, commitment. No one will make it without those three. Sport teaches you that.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Always, if you win mentally, you can win physically as well.”― Haile Gebrselassie

8th of 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

“Life is a kind of struggle. Life is a sort of fight.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“If your body is damaged, wounded, it can be fixed, but if inside, mentally, you are wounded you cannot fix it, it’s hard.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“You must do as your people do. If my people are poor, I must be poor. People ask me, ‘Why don’t you find a personal coach or a private car?’ I can’t. Then I won’t be part of my people.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“What can you do if a part of it is uphill? You can’t work out another route. You’ve just got to run the one they give you. But they tell me London is a nice course. Even the cobbles, I hope, are not very much of a problem for me.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I used to run to school, 10k every day. And this at altitude, perfect preparation, really.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I will always listen to my coaches. But first I listen to my body. If what they tell me suits my body, great. If my body doesn’t feel good with what they say, then always my body comes first.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“When you promise something, you must fulfill it.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“What is important is to win.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“The marathon always starts after 30K. That’s where the problems start. You start without any problems, without any pain. All the pain comes after 30K. Sometimes, it’s possible to have pain even in the finger.”― Haile Gebrselassie

17th of 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

“Since I achieved something, running has exploded in my country. For me sometimes it is difficult even to know who the athletes are who are competing at the highest level. There are thousands.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“This is what I wanted. They tell me that London is the best field in history. I wanted to be part of that. Because everyone will be there it will be a wonderful challenge for me. You can see the best runners, how they look, how they run. For me to beat the best is what counts.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I think if you come first with a new world record, that is the best.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“He was not a runner, my father, but he was quick. I always remember it was very difficult to escape from him when he was angry. If he wanted to beat us he would always catch us. Even me, he could always catch me.”― Haile Gebrselassie

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“In the rainy season, sometimes to get to the first lesson we had to run really quick, because we had to cross the river to school and we’d have to go up and down the bank to find a place to cross because there is no bridge.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“This hand is not very active always, because it was in this hand that I carried my books. My carrying hand was always my strongest. Now I think my other hand has developed more muscles from signing all those autographs.”― Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie on field
Haile Gebrselassie on field

“My father thought sport was something fun – he didn’t know it was a way to make money. Then I won a Mercedes at the world championships and I gave it to him. From the moment it arrived my father said: ‘Good, you can support not just yourself but me too’.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I’m lucky. The best possible place in the world for training is Addis Ababa, so I am home all the time except when I am racing. I like to be there, near my family, my kids, also the real estate business I run with my wife.”― Haile Gebrselassie

25th of 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

“You know, I want to help my country. Definitely I can help them, simply by winning races. Sure, they can follow my path to a good career. But for me it is not enough. I want to be more than that. In everything I want to be a role model.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“At the moment I am a little bit politician, yes. I think that could be my next step. It is not because I want power, it is because of what I think I could do for the people.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Eradicate poverty. This is all that matters in my country. When I am out training I think about this a lot; when I am running it is going over in my mind. As a country we cannot move forward until we eradicate poverty.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“That is not enough. Sport has been great for me, a great learning place that if you want to achieve you can, even if you are from the poorest part of Africa.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I haven’t done a marathon for a long time. So we’ll see. I will need good luck.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I have to change a lot of things before I become a good marathon runner.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“When we race in London a world record will be the last thing on our minds.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I wanted to experience New York, to look up and see buildings.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I love running and I will always run.”― Haile Gebrselassie

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“It is not my duty to spend my money in my country, but it is what I want to do. There is nowhere else I would like to invest.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I have seen things few of my countrymen have. The first time I went on an aeroplane I couldn’t work out how the lavatories worked up in the sky. Haile Gebrselassie

“Athletes have to be confident and I am thinking like that.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“In the marathon a crazy athlete can just keep pushing from the beginning, at a championship you don’t need a time just to win the race.”― Haile Gebrselassie

38th of 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

“The more you are getting older, you lose a little something. Of course there is another advantage, because of your long experience you can use it.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Why should I say I will retire in three or four years? You retire the very moment you utter those words.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“My school was six miles away from where I lived on the farm. I had to walk and run, there and back every day, through gorges and over rivers. If I was late, there was a very big stick waiting for me.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I can’t change everything by myself but I can be one of the people who are trying to change the situation.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Schooling is so important.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I find the business world hard.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“First, do enough training. Then believe in yourself and say: I can do it. Tomorrow is my day. And then say: the person in front of me, he is just a human being as well; he has two legs, I have two legs, that is all. That is mentally how you prepare.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Like some high official, you have to tell your brain: ‘Do it. Come on. I have to do it.’”― Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie with his precious award
Haile Gebrselassie with his precious award

“Some people start a sport just to reduce weight, or some say, ‘My doctor ordered me to run and do exercise’, and for others, they run for completely different benefits. But it is not like that with sport. We need to eat, we need to rest, but also we need to run.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I always tell young athletes the same thing, ‘Wherever you go, whatever you do, what must your top priority be? Running.’”― Haile Gebrselassie

“In my life I do a lot of things but I never forget my training.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Athletics is in my blood.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I’m a runner first before anything else.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I remember in particular my first victory when I achieved a very fast time in what were perfect conditions but since then the wind has always been a factor against me.”― Haile Gebrselassie

You know for me when I promise something I want to deliver. If you don’t, you have to disappear.”― Haile Gebrselassie

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“You know the marathon in my country is just exceptional. It’s like soccer in England. If England win the world cup and Ethiopia win the marathon – it’s the same.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I want to go down in history.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I wanted to be famous. I wanted people to talk about me.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Many people know that Ethiopia is poor. When I break a world record, maybe people get to know something else about Ethiopia, something good. We can’t make planes or cars, we don’t have the materials. We do what we can.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I’m never satisfied.”― Haile Gebrselassie

58th of 68 Haile Gebrselassie Quotes

“I was the kind of child who worked hard every day with the cows and sheep – I was a very aggressive boy.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“When I had no shoes I was comfortable – I used to run barefoot. When I wore shoes it was difficult. To run in shoes was ok, but at the beginning of my career it was hard.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“My father didn’t think running was sensible. He told me running is just wasting time.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“I want to avoid injuries by running only road.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“If I don’t train enough, of course I’m nervous.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“For me a day without training is like a day without eating.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“At the end of the day, people want to see how fast you run.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“If you are a really good marathoner, you have to run New York.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“If you’re planning only to make money and nothing else, you’ll be broke.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“When I wake up at 5 in the morning is it just to jog? Definitely not, I give it all of my efforts.”― Haile Gebrselassie

“Age for me is just a number.”― Haile Gebrselassie

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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