Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics special news update!

What a fun sporting summer we’ve had!

Our teams in Ethiopia and in London have been cheering on the Olympic and Paralympic athletes with all our energy over the last month or so. We are now watching the Paralympic closing ceremony and thought this would be a good chance for us to look back at some of the highlights for the Ethiopian athletes and to share with you some of Link Ethiopia’s sport related work.

For anyone who hasn’t explored our website recently we now have a blog where we share news stories on a regular basis and we are planning to highlight some of these stories in our news emails in the future so that more people get to read them. We also share updates on Facebook and Twitter, so do follow us if you use these networks!

Enjoy our update and may we wish you all a very happy Ethiopian New Year for Tuesday. Enkutatash! Welcome to 2005!!

Red, Green and Gold: Olympics and Paralymics Roundup

Meseret Defar celebrates with Tirunesh Dibaba

Team Ethiopia at the Olympics

Ethiopia triumphed in the Olympic athletics, winning seven medals – three of those gold! Our congratulations to all the team but in particular to the women who won all the Gold medals. Overall the country ranked 9th in the world based on total medals by GDP.

Off the track, legendary long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie was honoured by being chosen as one of the Olympic flag-bearers at the opening ceremony as well as being a torch-bearer on the flame’s journey to the Games. And Link Ethiopia was there rubbing shoulders with the Ethiopian Olympians at a gala event honouring the athletes.

You can read about all of this and much more here.

Ethiopia’s first ever medal at the Paralympics

It was also a historic occasion for Ethiopia during the Paralympics where Wondiye Fikre won the country’s first ever medal. Find out more about Ethiopia’s Paralympic success and history here.

African Olympic Champions

Haile Gebrselassie was also one of three Ethiopians named in the BBC’s ten most significant African Olympic champions, alongside barefoot marathon hero Abebe Bikila, and Derartu Tulu, the first black African woman to win Olympic Gold. Read more about these athletes here.

Sowing the seeds for future Ethiopian Olympians

In June we celebrated the successful completion of our Sports Programme in Gondar. Thanks to funding from the Hilden Charitable Trust, 46 ambitious youngsters from seven schools received professional training in four different sports and their schools received sports equipment. Read more about the programme here.

Get running with Link Ethiopia at 8,000ft!

Last year's amazing team at the Great Ethiopian Run

Still got Olympic fever? Looking for a challenge? Be a sporting hero yourself by taking part in the Great Ethiopian Run with Link Ethiopia!

Last year we had a small group take part in the run, including three teachers from Ossett Academy who also visited their link school in Addis. As one runner put it, “the whole experience was amazing – we can’t stop talking about it”.

This could be you! This year we want to take a larger group out to this 10k run, taking place on the 25th November 2012. It’s a chance not only to take part in Africa’s biggest and best road race, but also to explore Ethiopia’s beautiful countryside and culture and visit some schools so you can see for yourself where your support is going.

If you’re interested in this unique experience, or know someone who might be, do visit our website for more information and to apply.

Ethiopian sporting heroes!

Ethiopian students choose their Olympic Heroes

Earlier in the year, students in our link schools were celebrating past Olympic greats and looking forward to the summer Games. Here’s an example class project from one group of Ethiopian students who chose their Ethiopian Olympic heroes and challenged their UK friends to do the same. See more here.

Ethiopian athletes in the press

Young athletes from Bejoki, the "Town of Runners"

When Eddie met Haile

The Financial Times features comedian-come-serial marathon runner Eddie Izzard’s account of meeting and training with the long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie. An interesting and irreverent insight into an Ethiopian running legend! Read the article here.

‘Town of Runners’ article

Here we have a fantastic article from The Guardian inspired by the documentary ‘Town of Runners’ which is about Bejoki, an Ethiopian town which has produced some of the world’s greatest long-distance athletes. It gives a good insight into the highs and lows of young Ethiopian athletes. Read the article and find out more about this wonderful documentary here.

Happy new year to you all!

Best wishes from all the Link Ethiopia team!

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