Meseret Defar, the National Honorary Ambassador of UNFPA in Ethiopia, took the gold in the women’s 5000-meter race at the London 2012 Olympics on Friday, 10 August, reclaiming the Olympic title she last won in Athens in 2004.
"Today, after eight years, I have won gold again," said Ms. Defar after her win of 15 minutes, 4.25 seconds. "It is a great achievement. I feel as if I have been born again."
Meseret greeting UNFPA Executive Director during his excursion to Ethiopia in March 2011
Meseret Defar was named National Honorary Ambassador of UNFPA in Ethiopia when she returned from her performance at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She has been entrusted with championing the causes of women, youth, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS, especially among young people.
“The talent you showed during the competition proves that women can achieve great heights in any field,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin in his congratulatory message to Ms. Defar. “Your contributions and feats have lit a shining torch for others to follow. Thank you for being a role model and a source of inspiration to women in Africa and beyond.”
In March 2011, Ms. Defar renewed her Honorary National Ambassadorship agreement with UNFPA for another two years during a ceremony chaired by UNFPA Representative in Ethiopia, Dr. Benoit Kalasa.