Oldest Olympic Marathoner is Israel's Ayele (Haile) Seteng

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Not all the immigrants are skilled, especially those from African countries. Those often illiterate and destitute people have caused great economic strain for Israeli society, for these immigrants need a great many social service safety nets, which are difficult for Israel to provide, especially when it’s money most still mostly be focused on its very survival.

Consequently, someone like Haile has to do ‘the best he can’, and as Haile’s gift is running, that’s what he has concentrated on, but it does not give him an income. He is supported by a monthly grant, and it is barely enough for his family of 9 to survive. Friends in the running community also try to help him out financially, and he runs endlessly for “prize money” on tough surfaces that extract a significant toll with extra body stress. Haile is 5 foot 7 inches tall but only weighs only 119 pounds ! He trains all the time, adding 120 miles every week (200km) in his home town of Hadera, near Tel Aviv, since the Athens Games four years ago. Haile (also spelled Ayele) had debated as to how much to jeopardize his Health by running in Beijing’s filthy air. It was a serious risk to his long-term health, and as the sole bread-winner for his family, this was no easy choice. After all, the marathon is more than 26 miles. The international favorite, Haile Gelbrselassie of Ethiopia, and Haile’s friend, decided not to compete for that very reason; Gebrselassie put aside his almost-certain chance for the Olympic gold medal, because Beijing would hurt his Health, but Ayele “Haile” Satayin did not feel he had that choice. For more, go to “Tel Aviv Tomorrow.”

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