Loroupe hon­oured as the 2016 UN Per­son of Year

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

Tegla Loroupe has been hon­oured as the 2016 UN Per­son of the Year in Kenya for her work in en­sur­ing the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the refugee team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Loroupe, a for­mer marathon world record holder who won marathons in Lon­don, New York and Ber­lin in her her­alded ca­reer, was the chef de mis­sion for the ten-mem­ber squad that made up the Refugee Olympic Team, the first to com­pete at the Games.

Loroupe’s jour­ney with refugees be­gan in 2014 when she took her peace-build­ing ef­forts to refugee camps in Kenya where she dis­cov­ered a great in­ter­est in ath­let­ics among refugee com­mu­ni­ties.

In 2015, she pe­ti­tioned the In­ter­na­tional Olympics Com­mit­tee to give refugees a chance to ad­vance in their ath­let­ics ca­reers by tak­ing part in the Olympics. She then es­tab­lished an ath­let­ics train­ing camp for refugees in Ngong, in the out­skirts of Nairobi, which is run by her Tegla Loroupe Peace Foun­da­tion.

Her hope was to help pro­duce Olympic ta­lent that would unite the peo­ple of coun­tries that are at war.

Her vi­sion was re­alised this sum­mer when the first Refugee Olympic Team was con­sti­tuted, com­prised of ten refugees from Syria, Congo, Ethiopia and South Su­dan, pro­vid­ing a sym­bol of hope to the more than 65 mil­lion peo­ple glob­ally who are cur­rently dis­placed by con­flict.

/ FILE

Tegla Loroupe.

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