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Meet Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro, The Rio Olympics Cinderella Who Finished A Race With Just One Shoe On!

During the 3000 meter steeplechase on Saturday, Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro had the misfortune of losing one of her shoes on the tracks. Nevertheless, she persevered, running all the way to the finish with just one shoe.

It will not be far from it if a part of the reason why people love sports is because the games are a huge metaphor of our lives in this world. You win some… you lose some; either way, the race continues.


Etenesh Diro’s persistence to finish the race against all odd says a lot about the ideal qualities of a good sportsman. The African runner was leading in the race before the mishap.

Diro collided with another runner, fell and had a broken shoe. Instead of wasting time on the shoe, she pulled her socks off and continued the race.

Eventually she arrived the finish line at the 7th position with a time of 9:34.70.

Many have taken to social media to applaud her strength and determination not to give up regardless of the extra inconvenience of running with just one shoe on.



Etenesh Diro ran for the 3000 meters steeplechase in 2012 Olympics. She came 2nd in the race with a time of 9:25.31. For the finals she came 6th with a time of 9:19.89.

Considering the loss of one shoe in the middle of the race, the Ethiopian team filed an appeal to permit Diro participate in the next round of the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase. Fortunately the appeal was granted.

“Protests were filed by the Ethiopian, Irish and Jamaican teams following the race and, after reviewing the video, the Jury of Appeal advanced Diro, Sara Louise Treacy of Ireland and Aisha Praught of Jamaica to the final.”-Report

Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet finally won the gold medal with a winning time of 8:59.75.


Amidst her persistence, Etenesh Diro was definitely heartbroken. The star who could have been the winner broke down in tears as she made it to the finish line 20 seconds over her past winning time record.



Written by How Africa

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