This 47 minute film was originally released in 1988 and then re-released in the popular 1996 eight tape collection of "The Olympiad Greatest Moments" by Dreamworks SKG Television in cooperation with the United States Olympic Committee. With narrator David Perry providing background and direction throughout this documentary, there is ample time for athletes and coaches alike to provide their own commentary to the events discussed. Twelve athletes from East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda) participated in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games where they did not win any medals. This tape chronicles the outstanding achievements that followed since these early runners created a solid foundation for other runners from Africa. The Olympic successes that began in Rome in 1960 are described in this video as "The most explosive forces on the international track and field scene". Here are the athletes who are highlighted in this video. Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila: he was the first gold medal winner from Africa when he won the Olympic marathon while running barefoot over the cobblestones in Rome. Bikila repeated four years later in Tokyo, despite recovering from an appendix surgery. His coach described how his technique reflected a minimum of exertion, "Your head should float - never should the head go up and down: while the other marathoners were running, Abebe Bikila was floating." The marathon attempt in the 1968 games on a broken foot are shown as well as the ending of his life at age 41 in 1973, following the car accident that left him paralyzed in 1969. About 12 minutes of this tape is dedicated to this national hero. Kenya's Kip Keino: from the Nandi tribe in the highlands comes this versatile distance runner who competed in three Olympic games. In 1964 he placed fifth in the 5,000 meters and was eliminated in the semi-finals of the 1500 meters. Returning during the Mexico City games there was team strategy with Ben Jipcho sacrificing himself by taking the field out very fast for the first two laps. Top ranked American Jim Ryun moved from 10th place to finish second, far behind Keino. Jipcho finished 9th and states "It was very good for Kenya, but unfair for other guys." Keino's steeplechase and 1500 meter race in Munich from 1972 is also highlighted during the end of this fifteen minute segment. Uganda's John Akii-Bua: this 400 meter hurdler became the first gold medalist in the Olympics from Uganda when he beat defending champion Dave Hemery in the 1972 Munich final while racing in lane one. Akii-Bua was also the first African to earn a gold medal at a distance less than 1500 meters as he set a world record in this race by clocking 47.82. Ethiopia's Mamo Wolde: five minutes is used to track his tale from Melbourne in 1956 to the marathon race competed on October 20th, 1968 by 72 starters from 44 countries. Wolde asked to join the marathon a day prior to the event after winning a silver medal in the 10,000 meters having run on an infected toe. Finally, he became an Olympic Champion at age 36. "The African Runners" ends with the story of John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania who, despite being bloodied and bandaged from a bad fall, courageously finishes the 1968 Mexico City Olympic marathon and exhibits the true spirit of the Olympic Games. In watching this film you may find a sense that these athletes trained hard, were thoughtful in their approach, and persevered though difficult times both before and after their successes at the Olympics. Although you may find this tape sold individually on an auction site, it is more likely that you can find the entire 8-tape collection available at a reasonable price.