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Beauty and Speed: Dibaba Sisters that Make up World's Most Decorated Athletics Family
- The Dibaba sisters boast four Olympic gold medals, two silver medals, three bronze and 15 world championships
- Tirunesh, Genzebe, Ejegayehu, Anna, and Melat are from Ethiopia are the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records
- They were inspired by their cousin Derartu Tulu, who is the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1992 games
Sibling rivalry has been known to break families in many settings, but for the five Dibaba siblings, it has strengthened a bond that is wrapped around with medals, and money, a lot of it.
Just like tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, the Dibaba Sisters have carved themselves into a brand that will be difficult to beat; that of the fastest family on earth.
Tirunesh, Genzebe, Ejegayehu, Anna, and Melat are from Ethiopia, the only siblings in recorded history to hold concurrent world records, and boast four Olympic gold medals, two silver medals, three bronze and 15 world championships.
Inspired by cousin Tulu
Their striking beauty, coupled with their prowess on the tracks makes them a sight to behold for many, young and old.
“There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie said in an earlier interview, as reported by Vogue.
The sisters have always revealed that they were inspired into athletics by their cousin Derartu Tulu, whose name is in the books of history as the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the 1992 games.
Tulu also emerged top at the New York City marathon in 2009 aged 37.
Tirunesh holds three Olympic gold medals, five world championship medals, and is also the 5000m world record holder.
She got married to fellow track-and-field Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine in 2008 at a wedding ceremony that drew half a million people and was televised nationally in Ethiopia.
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The couple is blessed with a son named Nathan.
The family's eldest sister, 40-year-old Ejegayehu, boasts a silver medal in the 10,000m at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and bronze medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2005 World Championships.
Genzebe, the younger sister of Ejegayehu and Tirunesh, won the IAAF’s Athlete of the Year award in 2015, which is the most coveted honour in athletics after breaking her first outdoor world record (1500m) and winning the 1500m title.
She broke three world indoor records in a span of two weeks in 2014, a feat that saw her crowned the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award.
One thing that makes the story of the gorgeous damsels even more amazing is that they were raised by peasant parents who were barley and wheat farmers.
According to their mother, Gutu, her daughters have run their way into success as a result of a loving environment and a steady supply of milk from the family livestock.
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The little Dibaba grew up in a round mud hut that had no electricity, something that could arguably have contributed to them working their heels off to run away from the biting squalor, and they did.
At the moment, the Dibabas are swimming in wealth, having invested in real estate, owning multiple buildings in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, as well as the five-star Tirunesh Hotel.