The National Olympic Committee-Kenya President Kipchoge Keino made a first in the Olympics after he received an Olympic Laurel Award. The Kenyan sports legend received the award during the opening ceremony from International Committee Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach. The Olympic Laurel Award was created to fete outstanding sports personalities for their achievements.
Before he was awarded, a clip was broadcasted outlining his contribution to the Olympic movement among other social achievements.
The smiling 76-year-old jogged to the podium to receive the award. In appreciating the award, Keino made a passionate appeal for support of youth to gain the basics of humanity; of food, shelter and education.
This was some good publicity Kenya badly needed following recent allegations of doping among the Kenyan athletics fraternity.
Kipchoge Keino began his international career at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia where he came eleventh in the three miles. At the 1964 Summer Olympics he finished fifth in 5000 m and just missed qualification for the 1500 m final.
On 27 August 1965, Keino lowered the 3000 m world record by over 6 seconds to 7:39.6 in his first attempt at the distance. He won two gold medals (1500 and 5000 metres) at the inaugural All-Africa Games. Later in that year, he broke the 5000 m world record held by Ron Clarke, clocking 13:24.2. At the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica, he won both the mile run and three mile run. In the next Commonwealth Games, Keino won the 1500 metres and was third in the 5000 metres.
At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he won the 1500 metres gold medal (defeating American favourite and world record holder Jim Ryun by 20 meters, the largest winning margin in the history of the event) and 5000 m silver medal. Four years later, he won the 3000 metres steeplechase gold and 1500 metres silver at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
He retired in 1973.