The Ethiopian Olympic Committee (EOC) has commemorated double Olympic champion Miruts Yifter, who died last month at the age of 72.
Yifter, the winner of the men’s 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold medals at the Moscow 1980 Games, passed away in Canadian city Toronto after being hospitalised for respiratory problems.
As a mark of respect, the EOC held a commemoration at its headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
"We lost one of our Olympic heroes and a family member," Tamrat Bekele, secretary general of the EOC, said.
"Miruts Yifter helped a lot towards making the Olympic Movement in Ethiopia relatively vibrant."
Yifter earned the nickname "Yifter the Shifter" at Moscow 1980, where his rapid bursts of speed helped ensure him two gold medals.
His heroics inspired the next generation of Ethiopian runners, including the legendary Haile Gebrselassie, who started running after hearing of Yifter's triumphs in Moscow.
Yifter’s Olympic career began at the 1972 Games in Munich, where he claimed the 10,000m bronze medal.
He was due to contest the 5,000m final, but reportedly arrived too late.
Ethiopia were one of 22 African countries that heeded the call for a boycott of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, meaning Yifter was unable to compete.
It came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to ban New Zealand, whose national rugby union team had toured South Africa - then banned from the Olympics because of its apartheid policies - earlier in 1976 in defiance of the United Nations' calls for a sporting embargo.
In the interim, Yifter did the 5,000m and 10,000m double at the both the 1977 and 1979 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Cups, held in Dusseldorf and Montreal respectively.
He set a world half-marathon best of 1 hour 2mins 57sec in 1977 and emigrated to Canada 16 years ago.