At the ceremony held on August 27, 2022, Dr. Derartu Tulu, President of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation, receives an honorary doctorate from Bahir Dar University. Bahir Dar University recognized this exceptional athlete for her dedicated work toward Ethiopian peace and the future of Ethiopian athletics in carrying out her social responsibilities for Ethiopia. Derartu Tulu is regarded as the pioneer of the current dominance of female African runners, particularly Ethiopian female athletes.
Derartu Tulu was born in Bokoji, Oromia. She started racing in her early school years. She showed her excellence in her school races. Her skills were recognized, allowing her to expand her focus to a national level. Her first international participation was in 1989, at the World Cross Country Championships in Stavanger (Norway), where she finished 23rd. Derartu later on participated in the World Cross-Country Championships in 1992. She finished 2nd, earning her a silver medal. She is the first African woman to win a medal in the World Cross Country Championships.
Derartu Tulu first participated in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in 10.000 meters, winning her first Olympic gold medal. She is the first black African woman to earn an Olympic medal. She is also the first woman to win two gold medals in Olympic distance races. Derartu is one of the greatest long-distance runners in history and the first Sub-Saharan African athlete to achieve significant international success. She continues her significant imprint in many aspects. She encourages and fights for Ethiopian athletes’ place in the athletic world. She took it upon herself to work on restoring Ethiopia’s title on the world athletics list. Ethiopian athletes are now achieving great success after the setbacks they faced in recent years.