Kipchoge Keino - Memories from Olympic Games | Biography
Today's Young African Runners have found motivation from 60's legendary athletes like Kipchoge Keino of Kenya and Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia. Kipchoge Keino was born January 17, 1940 in Nandi Hills, Kenya. Kipchoge is a word of nandi Language meant for 'Born Near the Grain Storage Shed' His parents died while he was young. He completed his school under the care of his Aunt and Later he joined the Kenya Police. Before becoming a cross country runner, He was a Rugby Player.
He participated in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics but didn't get a medal. In Mexico 1968 He participated in 10 Km Race. It was second time he was participating in Olympics without any special training. Just before the race to begin, he felt sharp pain in his stomach. Despite this tragedy he ran but dropped in the Racetrack just two step behind the finishing line due to heavy pain in stomach. He completed the race but he was disqualified. After 4 days of this tragedy he won a silver medal in 5 KM Race defeating Mohammed Gammoudi by 0.02 seconds. On the day of 1500m Race, He trapped into the traffic. He left the car on the road and ran for a mile to reach the stadium. Spectators were expecting a win from their favorite Jim Ryun of USA but Kip changed the whole by taking a long lead in the track. He won the race by 20 metres from Jim Ryun and it is still the largest winning margin in the 1500 m race in olympic. In 1972 Munich Olympics he won a Gold in 3000 metres steeplechase although he was a neophyte in such kinda format. Also he won the silver medal in 1500m Race. He retired in 1973.
Apart from Sports, Kip Keino is linked with Social Services and with cooperation of his wife he has opened a home for orphan children in Kenya. He started Kip Keino Primary School located near Eldoret in 2009 and Jacques Rogge, the President of International Olympic Committee was present in its Opening Ceremony. He was one of the 24 inaugral member of International Association of Athletics Federations Hall Of Fame in 2012.