The Dibabas: What It Means to Come From the World's Most Decorated Athletic Family

Like the famous US tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams, this family of five high flying female athletes have morphed themselves into a brand that will be difficult to beat; a brand that adorns them the accolade of being the fastest family on earth. Quite exciting ! Isn't it?

The five sisters, who hail from the east African nation of Ethiopia, Tirunesh, Genzebe, Ejegayehu, Anna, and Melat are the only siblings in modern history to hold concurrent world records, and boast 4 Olympic gold medals, 2 silver medals, three 3 bronze and 15 world championships. Their younger brother, Dejene, has been tipped for similar greatness in the future by sports experts.
The Dibaba's, in a warm up session with their cousin sister Derartu Tulu
Raised in the south of Ethiopia about three (3) hours from the country's capital Addis-Ababa, the Dibabas grew up in a 'tukul', also known as a round mud hut, without electricity.

Both of their parents were farmers and their mother, Gutu, said in an interview that she attributes the women’s success to a loving environment as well as a steady supply of milk from the family cows. They come from a big family as there are seven siblings, and every one of them is a runner. An enquiry into probable causes of adaptive features that make the Dibabas unbeatable in long distance races revealed that the Ethiopian diet (the bulk of what is being consumed), with its reliance on the iron- and calcium-rich grain teff, and the typical Ethiopian body type, petite and narrow, is what makes them ideal for the sport.
Tirunesh, with Anna Dibaba
The sisters have always revealed that they were inspired to go 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.

The family's eldest sister, 40-year-old Ejegayehu, boasts of a silver medal in the 10,000m event at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and bronze medals in both the 5000m and 10,000m events at the 2005 World Championships.
Ejegayehu Dibaba
Genzebe, the younger sister of Ejegayehu and Tirunesh, won the IAAF Athlete of the Year award in 2015 which is the most coveted honor in athletics after breaking her first outdoor world record in 1500m event and winning the 1500m title. A year earlier, she broke three world indoor records in a span of two weeks, a feat that saw her crowned the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year aw
Tirunesh, the middle sister of Ejegayehu and Genzebe, is also a multiple Olympic and World Championship winner. At age 15, she made her debut on the international scene with Ethiopia's junior squad at the 2001 world cross country championships, where she finished fifth. She continued with junior level silver medals in cross country and on the track in 2002. In 2003, she set a 5,000m junior world record and won gold at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world track and field championships, making her the youngest ever world champion in her sport. She is married to fellow track-and-field Olympic medalist Sileshi Sihine and they have a son, Nathan.
Tirunesh Dibaba
Melat, a marathon runner, won the 2015 World Championships in Beijing
Melat Dibaba
The Dibabas’ dominance in the field of distance running has captivated the track-and-field community. “There are a few running families, but not like the Dibabas,” says the Ethiopian track legend Haile Gebrselassie.

Like many of Ethiopia's successful track stars, the Dibabas have invested their fortunes back into their city; they are burgeoning real estate tycoons, owning multiple buildings in the capital as they continue to make Ethiopia proud in the world of track sports.
The Dibaba's in their Oromo tribe Attire
Tirunesh, with her son Nathan celebrating after winning the Chicago Marathon in 2017