The Peace Run has met recently in Geneva with Haile Gebrselassie, its long-time friend and supporter. Haile is a two-times Olympic gold medalist and four-times world champion from Ethiopia in the 10,000-meter distance running discipline. Haile is also a champion marathon runner and a marathon world record holder. Haile also has great concern for world peace, world health and the well-being of the human beings as evidenced not just by his words but also by his charitable works in support of the people in need in his native Ethiopia.
Peace Run: What does peace mean to you personally?
Haile: Peace is like water in the desert. It is especially a necessity in the context of war. Peace does not need to be explained, we feel it, we understand it. Peace is priceless. It can neither be quantified nor qualitatively described. Peace is everything. Peace is not just something that relates to interactions among people, it is much more than that. Peace is much deeper. Peace is something that must be inside ourselves, inside our minds.
Peace Run: What is the role of sports in bringing about peace globally?
Haile: Sports is a very good tool for making peace a reality in the world. When people meet in a sports event, they come from many different countries, including perhaps countries that are at war with each other. But in a race, they may run together despite any ongoing fight between their nations. That’s the wonderful thing about sports.
Peace Run: How do you see the world peace going forward? What’s your vision and wish for world peace?
Haile: I wish to see peace taking hold in the entire world. And I want this peace not just to be something that people wish for, but something that we all necessarily work for. Wishing for peace is good but working for peace is even more important. We must all work for peace.