Stadium to be Named After Legendary Kenyan Athlete

  • The main dias at the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County
    An undated photo of the main dias at the Wang'uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County.
    Twitter
    sportsheritage.go.ke
  • A stadium will be named after Kenya's first-ever Olympic medal winner, Wilson Kiprugut Chumo. 

    The 83-year-old icon, who hails from Kipchebor area in Ainamoi sub county, Kericho County, became the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal when he bagged a bronze in 800 meters during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics games.

    As the country celebrated this year's Mashujaa Day on Wednesday, October 20, the Kericho County Government stated it would name a stadium in his honor.

    The county government renamed the Kericho Green Stadium to Wilson Kiprugut Chumo Stadium, stating that Chumo is an international historical figure.

    Chumo
    Legendary athlete Wilson Kiprugut Arap Chumo displays some of his medals during the interview at his Kericho home on October 24, 2019.
    Daily Nation
    JARED NYATAYA

    It further stated that Chumo was the motivation behind Kenya's success in athletics by opening the endless list of Kenyan medal winners in the popular sport.

    Chumo's outstanding career brightened when he won a silver medal in the 800 meters race during the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, before winning a gold medal in 400 meters during the 1965 All Africa Games, and another gold medal in 800 meters in the same year. His career was spurred when he won a silver medal in the 1966 Commonwealth Games held in Kingston, Jamaica.

    In an interview with a local media house, Chumo narrated his journey stating it was quite challenging for African athletes to compete against the Europeans due to inferiority complex.

    "Back then, even in international races, we really feared the white man. We thought he was powerful in everything and that no African could outrun them," he stated.

    He said that they eventually managed to break the fear and emerge victorious, giving hope to other African athletes who have since dominated the world athletics scene.

    "But we decided to be strong and give it a try, and to everyone's surprise, we defeated them by far and our morale was boosted from then henceforth," said Chumo.

    Despite hanging his boots, Chumo has received several accolades including being honored by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) as Kenya's outstanding Olympic trailblazer.

    He expressed his excitement, saying it is an honor to his family and urged the young people to strive and make a difference in society if they want to be great.

    "I am really grateful for the honor accorded to me in recognition of what I did in the past. This is really encouraging to me and my family," he said.

    Former athlete Wilson Kiprugut Chumo
    Former athlete Wilson Kiprugut Chumo displaying medals in a past interview with a local media house at his residential home in Kericho County on May 19.
    The Standard
    Peter Ochieng