Beauty Meets Speed: Who Are the Dibaba Sisters?

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Sibling rivalry is one of sports’ greatest attractions. Over the years, we’ve seen the Williams sisters in tennis, the Manning brothers in football, and the Curry brothers in basketball. In athletics, some of the most successful runners are the Dibaba sisters. They come from Ethiopia and have achieved a lot of success. Here’s more about the Dibaba sisters. 

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Dibaba Sister’s Early Life

The Dibaba sisters grew up on the outskirts of the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. The girls grew up without electricity and in a mud house. Their parents were farmers who grew teff, wheat, and reared cows. This humble start to life inspired them to work for a better life. 

How Many Dibaba Sisters Are There?

There are five Dibaba sisters; 

All of them are runners with varying degrees of success. Let’s examine them.

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Tirunesh Dibaba 

Tirunesh Dibaba is the most successful athlete in the family. At 18, Tirunesh became the youngest middle-distance runner to become a world champion in the 5000m and 10,000m.

She’s won three Olympic gold medals. Her first came at the Beijing Olympics at the 5,000 and 10,000m. At the 2012 Olympics in London, Tirunesh defended her title. 

She’s replicated her success in other athletics competitions. Tirunesh has won the world championships five times, New York Marathon in 2017, and the world cross country five times.  

Ejagayehy Dibaba

Ejagayehy Dibaba is the oldest sister in the family. As of 2023, she is 41 years old. She’s won two bronze medals in the world championships and is an Olympic silver medalist. She clinched this at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. 

Genzebe Dibaba

As of 2023, Genzebe Dibaba is 32 years old. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, she claimed a silver medal in the 1,500m. She also won the World Championships in 2015 in the same distance. 

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Other races she’s won include the World Cross Country Championships, Africa Junior Championships, World Indoor Championships, and the African Championships. 

Throughout her career, she’s won a number of coveted awards:

Anna Dibaba

She might not be as prolific as Tirunesh and Genzebe but she’s an athlete in her own right. She’s a middle-distance runner – 1500 and 5000, as well as the half marathon. In 2022, she won the women’s half marathon in Pittsburgh.

Derartu Tulu  

The Dibaba sisters were inspired by their cousin Derartu Tulu. Tulu won the 1992 Olympic gold medal and became the first Ethiopian and African woman to get that title. Her second Olympic medal came in 2000 at the Sydney Games in the 10,000m. In 2001, she won the World Championships in Edmonton. 

Why Are the Dibaba Sisters Successful?

The Dibaba sisters are described as the fastest family in the world. They are the only siblings in sports to hold world records simultaneously. What makes them so good?

As mentioned earlier, the Dibaba sisters’ upbringing has contributed to their success. Growing up, their nutrition consisted of milk and teff, rich in calcium and teff. Calcium helps in the formation of the bone and iron in the development of haemoglobin, leading to a higher presence of oxygen and, thus, high endurance. 

Growing up in a high-altitude area helps in the making of more red blood cells, which leads to more oxygen in the blood. This gives them an edge over their competitors as they have an extra supply of oxygen.

Dibaba sisters’ Net Worth

The Dibaba sisters have amassed a significant amount of wealth throughout their careers. 

The Dibaba sisters have no doubt earned their place in athletics history. Do you want to learn more about athletics and why some people do better? Check out these books on Amazon.

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