Yeman Crippa: passion, humility and training on the way to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Yemaneberhan Crippa - or more simply Yeman - at 23 years old is the Italian record holder of the 10,000 metres. Yeman came to visit us at Technogym Village, where he trained with our formats and products and told us something about him, about the training of the middle-distance runner and his life, which is already very rich in experiences and successes.
Yeman Crippa is a boy adopted together with seven brothers and cousins by a Milanese couple, Roberto and Luisa Crippa. The civil war in Ethiopia snatched him from his family, from Wollo, in the north-east of the country, and took him to an orphanage in Addis Ababa where he was adopted in 2003.
Yeman's new family settled in Italy’s mountain region of Trentino, in Montagne (near Tione), where Yeman (the name in Amharic means "God's right-hand man") first played football and then started to run, excelling in many different areas, and then entered the Fiamme Oro.  I have a large family, he explains. My parents made this courageous choice to adopt everyone, a case so atypical that television and journalists started to get curious and talk about it. A boy, Matteo Valsecchi, wanted to make a documentary about us.
Yeman and Neka is the documentary filmed by Matteo Valsecchi on the Crippa family.

Yeman's talent

A talent that was revealed at the age of 22, after a lifetime of training, has not stopped since 2019. During the championships he went down to 13:07.84 on the 5000 metres, a couple of seconds from the Italian record of Salvatore Antibo, after the staff also in 1500 (3:37.81) and the success in the European Cup of 10,000. At the World Cup in Doha in 2019, after thirty years, he beat Antibo's Italian record in the 10,000 with 27:10.76, finishing eighth. We appreciate the humility with which he takes life and the spirit with which he faces the daily commitment of training for athletics, but also the determination to achieve the goals set: the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 will be the first major event with which the Italian middle-distance runner will be measured.

The indoor training - he explains - is an important component of the training of an athlete like him. I work out every Monday in the gym and I do weights with loads suitable for a distance runner. He tells us he doesn't use the treadmill much, so we decide to let him try Skillrun. Usually, I run outside, but after trying today's treadmill I'd be very happy to run on it because it reaches incredible speeds, you can set the work for a long run: with the touch screen you can choose to train or watch TV, Netflix, whatever you want, so the run passes more willingly.
The innovative Unity interface makes Skillrun a highly coveted product for your workouts at home. UNITY is the only console that offers a truly personalised Wellness experience, with tailored training programs, tracking results in the cloud and endless training options to stay focused on the session. For a professional level of performance, Skillrun allows you to train at high running speeds (up to 30 km/h) and extremely steep slopes (up to 25%).
During the visit, Yeman tested his running metrics with Skillrun 7000, which provides valuable information on running efficiency. Its sensors, the most precise ever installed on a treadmill, can detect the most subtle differences between the movement of the right leg compared to the left, to remedy any imbalances. Skillrun 7000 is the ideal tool for an athlete like Yeman: no other treadmill has ever been able to measure parameters with such precision, helping to improve indoor running performance and break all records.

I'm hoping the tests will come up with something positive and give me a tip on what I need to correct.

Creativity and productivity at work, cannot be separated from a healthy and trained body capable of producing benefits also on the psychological and mental level. In this perspective, many companies at an international level have activated Corporate Wellness projects. Technogym, the promoter of a new social and business model based on personal well-being, has set up comprehensive workplace health programs for its employees, including a gym with the latest technology, a health care program, and numerous sports and training activities outside the company.
For me, Yeman explains, it was nice to see the workers who put on shorts and a T-shirt during their lunch break and go to play sports directly in the company.

Road to Tokyo

Preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is going great. I left two months ago now, after the holidays because the World Cup lasted until October 7 and now my mind is focused on training again. I was in Kenya for the first training camp, so I'm supercharged. Hopefully, in the Olympics season, we can do something great and get as far ahead as possible.

Why did you train in Kenya?

I go for a matter of high ground, at 2400 meters in Italy you can't find the temperatures that are there (20°, ed). In these countries (Kenya, Ethiopia) there are many champions of the middle distance: I go there to practice what it is like in their life, their training, trying to understand their winning mentality.

What energy always drives you to go so far what motivation do you feel every day to go out and train?

Every professional sportsman has dreams. The goal is to win something important, be it a World Cup or Olympics. I set myself that goal until I reach that dream is one more push to work my way there. I'd also like to win at the European Championships where I haven't won an overall championship yet. More generally, the biggest dream is to win a medal at the Olympics that perhaps will not be Tokyo, because it is too soon, more likely in 2024. Until I reach that dream every day, I'll be happy to go to work to get there.

In addition to the outdoor cardio segment, do you also do something for strength and upper body strength?

We make force circuits for the upper body, then for the legs, the exercises that I prefer are squat, half squat, we do work with elastic bands. Every Monday they are in the gym to do this work, especially in autumn and winter, from October to March. Then, of course, a sprinter cares more, while a middle-distance runner must think more about running. For a sprinter, the explosive component is greater so he must have more muscles to support the momentum.

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