Fatuma Roba

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Fatuma Roba (born 18 December 1973) is an Ethiopian long-distance runner, best known for being the first African woman to win a gold medal in the women's Olympic marathon race at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics and for winning three successive Boston Marathons.


  • I really did not get any encouragement from anyone, but I pushed on because I liked to run. I made my first national team in 1988.
    • [1] Roba on starting races in 2008.
  • I knew I would be the Olympic Champion. I was running and the others were looking backwards, so I understood that they were tired, when for me the pace was easy. It was nice, because I could run strong and enjoy.
    • [2] Roba spoke on significance of olympic in 2008.
  • I knew of 1960 Olympic marathon winner Abebe Bikila and 1968 winner Mamo Wolde from the radio, so I thought I’d try it, too.
    • [3] Roba on her inspiration regarding marathon in 2000s.
  • They thought I should be doing women things.
    • [4] Roba spoke on her parent's disapproval in running in 2000.
  • I do not really want to be famous,But it's nice to be among the renowned athletes.
    • [5] Roba on her marathon victories in 2000.
  • I am hoping to make history, I feel like I have made good preparation.
    • [6] Roba spoke on her preparation in 2000.
  • Well, for me the greatest of all marathons is of course the olympic marathon, but second place is Boston.
    • [7] Roba spoke on marathons in 2000.
  • Sometimes, if there are a lot of people around me when I go to a store, I feel a bit intimidated. I used to be shy. I still consider myself shy, but I'm a little better now and I'm getting used to it.
    • [8] Roba on being shy around people in 1998.
  • I'm very happy to win a second time, I found it to be a very easy race.
    • [9] Roba spoke on her races in 1998.
  • I've been told there is a big hill, but I didn't see it.
    • [10] Roba response on Boston course in 1998.
  • They all went out of their way, getting us awards and everything.
    • [11] Roba spoke on Boston Marathon in 1998.
  • Even if I never ran again, I would have been content.
    • [12] Roba spoke on her olympic victory in 1998.
  • The reaction I felt from people had a big impact on me, I suddenly felt such a great sense of responsibility. I felt that I had to try to keep running, as long as I possibly could.
    • [13] Roba spoke about running in 1998.
  • Before the race I was afraid of the others with better times, but soon I realized that they were not running fast today, I picked up the speed and they would not follow. At that point I was already sure that I would win because I practiced very hard.
    • [14] Roba spoke on her fears during races in 1996.
  • Never again, never again will I do this distance, it is too long.
    • [15] Roba spoke of her race in Paris Marathon in 1994.
  • This is not only a special thing for me but also for my country and all African women.
    • [16] Roba spoke on her summer olympic victory in 1992.

Quotes about Fatuma Roba[edit]

  • She is the only woman from Africa who has won the Olympics and Boston Marathon three times. She is an inspiration for us.
    • [17] Kenya's Lornah Kiplagat made her Boston debut on Roba in 2000.
  • I think she is an example for a lot of women who are discouraged by the culture because it does not reward you.
    • [18] Misrak Assefa spoke about Roba in 2000.
  • If she can win four times, it gives us much more potential to think we can do it, maybe six times.
    • [19] Lornah spoke of Roba as an inspiration in 2000.
  • For women, she seems like a very special person, she's very determined, If she wins four, we don't need anything else.
    • [20] Assefa in admiration of Roba races in 2000.
  • My wife gave birth to a baby girl soon after the Olympics and I named her 'Fatuma' after you.
    • [21] Coach Mohammed Ali in admiration of Fatuma in 1998.
  • She ran with the same smooth stride and placid, dispassionate look on her face that she carried through the Olympic race.
    • [22] Runnersworld reported Roba in the Boston race in 1997.
  • The most relaxed-looking runner I have ever seen.
    • [23] Olympic Marathon Champion, Frank Shorter spoke of Roba races in 1997.

External links[edit]

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