Athletics Powerhouse, Kenya Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Sitting 34th on the Olympics medal table, Kenya is not just a prominent athletics nation, it is a giant in the sport.

The East African nation has 103 Olympic medals, with 96 of them being in athletics, second only to the United States of America in track and field.

The plains and heights of Kenya have propelled its athletes to international dominance. The country’s geography has also had a successful marriage with a relentless desire for athleticism.

Founded in 1950 by a retired British soldier, Archie Evans, Kenya athletics didn’t record its first major success until the 1964 Olympics when Wilson Kiprugut Chumo won a bronze medal in the 800m.

With rich accolades and a swathe of medals to display before the eyes of the world, the Kenyan government is partnering with Google to launch a virtual museum where its many medals can be displayed.

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“The Ministry in conjunction with Google Arts and Culture, Google Kenya, Athletics Kenya, the National Olympic and Paralympic Committees and other partners will launch the first and largest digital content feature on Kenyan sports, ever,” Sports Cabinet Minister Amina Mohamed told guests.

“It will celebrate the country’s history, heritage and excellence across disciplines, geography and communities. This project will also give us a platform to store all the turning sporting moments in history.”

Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President was full of praise for the country. He said; “…as a federation, Athletics Kenya has made an indelible mark on the history of our sport and a huge contribution to the development of our sport”.

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“Kenya is not just a prominent country in the world of athletics, it is a powerhouse. It is the number two ranked nation in the world behind USA with 151 medals in the 37 year history of the World Championships.

“Plus another 96 Olympic medals out of the 103 that Kenya has won in total in all Olympic sports have been won in Athletics.

“It has produced some of the greatest athletes in the history of athletics, starting from the first ever Olympic medallist for Kenya, back in Tokyo 1964, the 800m runner Wilson Kiprugut (bronze medallist) and continuing with legends of our sport, Rudisha, Kipchoge, Vivian Cheruiyot, Paul Tergat, Tegla Loroupe and a dozen other athletes who became role models for the generations that followed in their footsteps.”

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On display in the virtual museum will be some historical spikes and medals, and many other objects of generational importance to Kenya’s most-loved sport.

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