The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story by Jim Denison, paperback, 272 pages, Breakaway Books (2004), ISBN: 1891369482
Two Olympic 10,000 meter gold medals, eight world championships indoors and outdoors, 17 world records over four different distances, a 54-race winning streak: Haile Gebrselassie utterly dominated a decade of running, "a distance running star whose brilliance won't soon be forgotten" as Runner's World executive editor Amby Burfoot puts it. "The Greatest" is his authorized biography, written by Jim Denison, who worked on it with Haile for more than two years, visited him in Ethiopia, and traveled with him on the European track circuit. Haile's life story is fascinating, detailing his early years of hard poverty in war-torn Ethiopia, his relentless training, his rise to godlike status in the track world, and the good works he has done for his country with his fame and fortune. Most of all it is a glimpse of the kind, fascinating man behind all the records and medals. Nelson Mandela said about Haile, "Gebrselassie has won many great victories as an African athlete. He is a great ambassador for his people, and through his numerous humanitarian and charitable works a vitally important citizen for the future growth and development of Africa". This book on Haile Gebrselassie, "an elegant champion and a fine example of sportsmanship" in the words of Olympic double-gold medalist Lasse Viren, was released immediately after the 2004 Olympics, with the last chapter covering his final race. Jim Denison is also the author of "Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile".