Long-distance runner whose specialty was the 3000 meters and 5000 meters events; she broke several records during her time on the track.
Her first Olympic competition was at the 2004 Athens games, where she took home a gold in 5000 meters; she would go on to win the bronze at the 2008 Beijing games and gold at the 2012 London games, both in 5000 meters.
She was also successful in other global competitions, especially the World Championships; she broke the indoor records for the two-mile run, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters.
She and her husband adopted several children and she was a major contributor to numerous children's charities.
Her world record for 5000 meters was surpassed by her Ethiopian colleague Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008.