The life of Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie is shown without major stridency, which is good. Many sport films want to show the moment of rising glory with inspiring music such as chariots of fire. Here instead are short q&as about his childhood, his smile longing about life's past and present. Remembers his mom with love and care, and is realistic about his father physical and psychological mistreatment.
Some notable points about his personal life but are present in other country side life styles is that he does not live nearby to school as a child so he has to go by foot, running. When late, receives a ruler to his hands as punishment. So you can't be sure if he goes running to school because he likes it or if he is compelled to hurry because of in fault. How many people in the world have to go 6 miles (nearly 10 k) back and forth to school everyday?
Later on the daily activities Haile appears moving things around in the outdoors, be it plowing with animals, carrying water or stealing the household lantern's batteries to listen to the radio. Fast forward into the movie, Haile moves away from his house, despite his father always saying that running is not going to bring him money or importance, and has a date: nor the girl nor him are surrounded by music or fancy flirting: they simple have a drink of coffee for her, and a fanta for him. After the scene they walk together and chat about family, with no sense of hurry on the pace of conversation.
In Atlanta 1996 he wins the Olympics at 10000 meters and establishes a world record. Later he is received by millions. Three months after arriving back he gets married.
Overall the story evokes a good feeling of persisting through life, with confidence in himself, what he likes. A background effect that gives a good sense of unity is the rhythm of breathing while running, which appears several times through the film. His mother teached him to have faith, and perhaps that elicits his continuous and special smile.