The Smiling Assassin


At a massive invite-only track and field even called the Weltklasse Zürich in 1995, Haile Gebrselassie’s amazing performance broke the 5,000m race world record. Gebrselassie blazed across the finish line in 12 minutes and 44 seconds, maintaining a slightly over four-minute mile pace for more than three consecutive miles. When asked how he did it, the Ethiopian athlete gave all the credit to the catchy hit song “The Scatman.”

It’s nice music, it’s fast written, that’s why I could break a world record, by that music.
— Gebrselassie

World records are the result of unique performance, but more, they are the result of carefully dedicated life training. Over 20 years ago music helped “The Smiling Assassin,” Haile Gebrselassie, rewrite the record books. He attributed this accomplishment to the tempo of the music. The Genote™ Company finds inspiration from incredible stories like this one, and our organization is committed to studying music’s complex power in accelerating the healing process and amplifying athletic performance and recovery. Gebrselassie demonstrated music’s ability to improve athletic performance, but he may not have realized the extensive role music took in his training and recovery. Indeed the fundamental assumption increase athletic performance is strictly linked to the balance given between work and recovery. The find of new non-invasive methodologies to improve the balance between these two areas of training is the goal of Genote™ research.

The fast tempo was the single musical element Gebrselassie recognized when crediting music with his victory. He later admitted that for longer distance races he replaces “The Scatman” so he can focus on other aspects of his running. Recent studies indicate that there could be essential musical components that affect different elements of athletic performance.

Genote™ collaborates with high level, international athletes in the areas of running, swimming, and cycling; research has found music to aid in recovery, sleep and health. By marrying music to other therapies or training programs, overall well being will be enhanced both in medical institutions, the home and even the competitive world.

Learn more about how music can improve your life at