Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning The Olympic gold medal in the marathon. Overnight, Abebe Bikila became a sports legend. A hero in his own country and to the continent, Bikila was the first black African to win a gold medal. Four years later and just five weeks after an operation for appendicitis, Abebe successfully defended his Rome gold at the '64 Tokyo Olympiad, winning by the widest margin in history and becoming the first person to win consecutive Olympic marathons. This soldier and quiet son of a shepherd is considered by many the greatest long-distance runner in history. But his life story only began with Olympic medals. In 1969, while training for the '72 Munich games, Abebe, 36, was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Following surgery and during recovery in England, Bikila fought depression and craved to compete again. In the struggle to maintain the will to live, Bikila discovered a deeper meaning of competition. He first did so in archery at the English Paralympics, and then later, at the invitation of the King of Norway, in a handicapped cross country ski race known as The Ridderrennet in Beitostølen, Norway. Bikila's victory on a dog-sled in this snow-covered wilderness proved to be his final, triumphant race. "Atletu (The Athlete)" is a tale of extraordinary determination and of a singular man, Abebe Bikila. Told for the first time, this true story has been rendered with emotional power and cinematic grace.