Kipchoge Keino

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Kipchoge ("Kip") Keino (born January 17, 1940), chairman of the Kenyan Olympic Committee (KOC), is a retired Kenyan track and field athlete and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Kip Keino was among the first in a long line of successful middle and long distance runners to come from the country and has helped and inspired many of his fellow countrymen and women to become the athletics force that they are today.

Contents

Biography

Keino was born in Kipsamo, Nandi District, Kenya. Both of his parents died while he was young. He was then brought up by his aunt. After finishing school, he joined Kenya Police.[1] Before taking athletics, he played rugby[2]

He 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 barely missed the 1500 m final.

On August 27, 1965, Keino lowered the 3000 m world record by over 6 seconds to 7:39.6 at his first attempt at the distance. He won two gold medals (1500 & 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 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 20m, the largest winning margin in the history of the event [3]) 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.[1]

In 1987, he shared Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year" award with seven others, characterized as "Athletes Who Care," for his work with orphans.

Currently, Keino lives on a farm in Western Kenya where he controls and runs a charitable organization for orphans, and is president of the Kenyan Olympic Committee. He is married to Phyllis Keino. One son Martin was a two-time NCAA champion and highly successful pace-setter. Another son, Andrew, aka "Kippy", is currently competing while attending Villanova [1].

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