Ethiopian Abebe Bikila was the first Sub-Saharan African to win an Olympic gold medal in the marathon event of the 1960 Summer Olympics with a record time of 2:15:16.2.
Astonishingly, he won that event while running on barefoot. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympic, he again won the marathon event setting in a new Olympic record time of 2:12:11:2; 4. He was given a hero’s welcome when he returned home to Ethiopia. A stadium in Addis Ababa is named in his honor.