WATCH: The Story of the Women of the NN Racing Team
The world’s best long-distance running team (NN Running) posted a short documentary on their YouTube page about the Ethiopian runners on the team.
In the short video, triple world record holder Letenesbet Gidey and his training partner Yalemzerf Yehualaw talk about what it was like to grow up as a long distance runner in Ethiopia.
“When I was a kid I dreamed of becoming a doctor or a pilot, but now as a professional athlete I’m having fun,” Gidey said. “When I started sports, I liked it and wanted to run. I believe I can do anything.
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It is difficult to play sports as a woman in Ethiopia – your parents want you to get married and start a young family. Gidey also noted that there aren’t many programs in Ethiopia for young women to train and running is dangerous.
Gidey and Yehualaw both mention that the great Ethiopian runners Kenenisa Bekele and Haile gebrselassie have done a lot to develop the sport in Ethiopia, “Conditions for female runners today are better than they were 10 to 15 years ago,” said Gidey.
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“Our group (NN Running) is a family,” Yehualaw said. “We encourage each other and work together to make everyone a better place. “
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Gidey and Yehualaw have both thought about their cases so far and said they are not done yet. Both athletes want to break more world records to set a precedent for aspiring runners.