Kipchoge Keino A Celebrated Kenyan Veteran Athlete And A Disagrace To The Sport Years Later
It takes years to build empires and seconds to bring them down, this remains the best case scenario for a once Kenyan icon, Kipchoge Keino. For starters, Keino is one of the most celebrated Kenyan track and field athletes who put the country on the world map in the sixties.
He won men’s 1500m gold medal at the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico and another gold in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in Munich Germany, four years later.
Kipchoge Keino made history after he was awarded the first Olympic laurel by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Brazil, adding to many of his honours.
‘I will not reign over Rio fiasco’ these are the words of National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) Chairman Kipchoge Keino when he arrived from Brazil. Nock’s has been seriously accused of putting Team Kenya through muddled preparations, abuse of office, mismanagement and accrediting huge number of joy riders. His five colleagues were arrested over the weekend and arraigned in court Monday. Secretary General Francis Kanyili Paul, Chef de mission Stephen Soi, vice chairman Pius Ochieng’, Resham Bains and James Chacha were in court and later released on police bond. Bains was released without charge.
The appearing of top officials alone questions the integrity of the entire Nock and so Kipchoge cannot put Kenya through more needless laps with the ‘I will not resign chorus’ common with everyday corruption stained politicians and government officials. He adds a baby cry defense on top that ‘IOC is waiting for me to be arrested and put in custody and they ban Kenya’. His argument itself is an admission that he is guilty of the alleged offences but his punishment will in turn punish the entire nation. If that’s the case so be it, let the nation miss out in coming Olympic but put its house in order and have better performance.
Kipchoge should be very thankful to Kenya for giving him a sports management job. Kenya is known for neglecting its sports legends. Soccer legend Joe Kadenge are languishing in abject poverty, Boxing superstar Conjestina Achieng’ is suffering mental disorder but who cares, The legendary former cricket player Maurice Odumbe is now a begger, the game itself is now dead and buried and no one pays attention to that, instead ‘a doctor’ Kipchoge Keino who is losing his hero status for the love of money and power is taking the nation’s precious time. Who is he? A two time Olympic champion, 1968 and 1972?. Kenya has more athletes who have defended their titles.
‘I understand they are looking for me, they want to arrest me. What we did was success for Kenya, six gold, six silver and one bronze. Number one in Africa and 15 globally. I have no reasons to quit.’ The defiant Kipchoge said. And by the way the nation should not be hoodwinked that Nock represents track and field events alone, what have they done to other sports like swimming, boxing, volley ball and judo just to mention a few with dismal performance. They concentrate on popular sports with multimillion sponsorships and neglecting other sports.
He should go before he is sent home, Kenya is sick of the games he is playing. Kenya loved him but he has taken that love for granted. Rio Fiasco is real and the buck stops with the chairman, what is he going to chair when the embattled sports CS Dr. Hassan Wario has disbanded Nock and transferred their responsibilities to Sports Kenya on interim basis. Wario is another figure whose bodyguard was enjoying a joy ride in Rio when other athletes had no tickets; Wario deserves a smooth shave from the same blade he is using on Nock officials. He can’t fool people that he is also a victim of ‘Rio cartels’. How can a whole minister be a victim when his bodyguard is a beneficiary? House cleaning should be thorough and not spare Kipchoge and Wario.
Charity begins at home, Kipchoge has been in a better place to make his name glamorous locally as it is internationally but he has failed. It’s hypocritical for the Nock Chairman to claim innocence on the Country’s shame of a body NOCK. The body bungled the competition, frustrated athletes, mismanaged the entire event in highest orders making it worst Olympics of all for the Kenyan team which again maintained their fire by getting highest number of medals in Africa.
Kipchoge as the Chairman has to take the responsibility of the entire mess and the most honourable thing he could’ve done or should be considering already is resigning and ordering for a clean sweep on the body as the most valued contribution in reviving the dead spirits and salvaging the prestigious sports. Keino should worry more about his legacy as it’s in human nature not to remember the a thousand good things you did not one wrong that you did. He has the opportunity to keep or dismiss his valued position in the society. The mood in the country is hostile towards Nock which he chairs. There’s no way a fish can be rotten to the tail but the head stays fresh, not even in a low budget fiction movie.
Isiah Kiplagat whom has unfortunately passed away is another celebrated figure who will go down as a fraud character. While serving as Kenya’s Athletics Federation Chairman for 20 years and I.A.A.F council member, swindled more than $700,000 off Nike kitty to the Kenyan athletes. I’m his death, New York Times splashed a diminishing yet appropriate headline ‘Isaiah Kiplagat, Kenyan Sports Leader Said to Have Stolen Nike Funds, Dies at 72’.
The world will only remember you with what you left them with. Nock has brought a shame to Kenya and undermined the spirit of Kenya’s athletes. The Rio saga has overshadowed the medals won. Instead of celebrating victory, we’re stuck at handling the fiasco. The unanimous language is, the body must be disbanded if not restructured and the culprits of funds misappropriation be brought to books. Kiochoge Keino has the chance to escape wrath of min justice, resign from the board and save his legacy while time exists.