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Program Information
Radio Curious
Weekly Program
Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew & Barry Vogel, Esq.
 Radio Curious - Barry Vogel  Contact Contributor
May 25, 2016, 9:01 a.m.
Radio Curious visits with the filmmakers of "The Athlete," Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew. It's a movie about Abebe Bikila, who in 1960, became the first African to win an Olympic Gold Medal and in 1964, became the first person to win two Olympic Marathon Gold Medals. He also became a national hero and symbol for Ethiopian independence.
Barry Vogel, Attorney and Counselor is the Host and Producer of Radio Curious. Christina Aanestad and Yuko Kodama are the Assistant Producers.
It is said that in the early part of World War II, it took 500,000 Italian soldiers to occupy Ethiopia, and one Ethiopian soldier to conquer Rome.

19 years later, this one Ethiopian solder, Abebe Bikila competed barefoot in the 1960 Olympiad marathon foot race in Rome, Italy, leaving all other runners in the dust. Winning the 42 kms, 195 meter race, Abebe Bikila became the first African to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Abebe Bikila, a shepherd from the plains of Abyssinia in rural Ethiopia, had never been away from his family and stunned the world with his extraordinary victory. He became the hero of Rome Olympiad and for years to come a national hero in Ethiopia. Four years later he won the Marathon at the Tokyo Olympiad becoming the first person to win two Olympic Marathon Gold Medals.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visited by phone with the Davey Frankel, from his home in Berlin, Germany and Rasselas Lakew, from his home in New York City. They are the writers, directors and producers of the movie "The Athlete." the story of Abebe Bikila. Rasselas Lakew portrays Abebe Bikila in the lead role of The Athlete, and was born and grew up in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia.

"The Athlete" tells the powerful and tragic story Abebe Bikila, a quiet man, who in many ways meets the Homer s description in the Odyssey: " the distant Ethiopians, the father outposts of mankind, half of whom live where the sun goes down and half where the rises."

Beyond igniting East Africa s dominance in long distance running, Abebe Bikila became a quiet champion of hope for a continent that was in the midst of its struggle for self-determination. During his career Bikila won 12 of the 15 marathons he entered. Abebe Bikila died of a brain hemorrhage on October 23rd, 1972, two and a half years after his final race and victory in Norway. He was 41 years old.

This interview with Davey Frankel and Rasselas Lakew, which was recorded on May 9, 2011, began when I asked them explain what prompted them to write and produce "The Athlete."

The movie that Davey Frankel recommends is "My Life Without Me," directed by Isabel Coixet. The movie that Rasselas La Lakew recommends is "Living Russian, Man With A Movie Camera," directed by Dziga Vertov.

Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it's 26th year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know, we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas. Radio Curious 280 N. Oak St. Ukiah, Ca 95482. (707) 462-6541.

He Twice Ran and Won Olympic Marathons Barefoot Download Program Podcast
44.1k 128.mp3
00:29:00 1 May 25, 2016
Ukiah, California
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 00:29:00  128Kbps mp3
(27MB) Mono
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