Eliud Kipchoge has been named United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year in a ceremony at UN headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.
The world marathon record holder, having clocked 2:01.39 in Berlin last month, was awarded for his extraordinary performances, his work on HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and his endurance and courage.
UN Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee said in a letter announcing the award that Kipchoge’s victory in Berlin was “an example of dedication, commitment, sheer perseverance and … demonstrates the heights to which human endurance can be taken to”.
“You have employed your good name and celebrity to meet the challenges surrounding the transmission of HIV/Aids in Kenya and the difficulties 65 percent of Kenya’s population — the youth — face in their quest to be productive and responsible citizens,” the letter said.
Monica Juma, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, paid tribute at the award ceremony to Kipchoge’s athletic heroism and determination to advance the spirit of sports.
Kipchoge said at the ceremony that he would “be responsible and continue to support the youth and be an inspiration”.
Kipchoge, who won the marathon gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, having previously won silver and bronze in the 5000m at the Beijing and Athens Games respectively, was named alongside three other Kenyans this week as nominees for the IAAF Athlete of the Year awards.
World 3000m steeplechase record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, world 800m champion Emmanuel Korir and 1500m IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner Timothy Cheruiyot were also nominated for the IAAF awards.