Kenyatta: Kenya is a global athletic superpower


The XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has drawn to a close.

With it have come to an end golden performances at the highest level and memorable achievements by many gallant Olympians from all over the world.

Despite many challenges, the Olympic spirit thrives, inspiring billions of people in all continents to rise to their full potential and celebrate achievement.

This is especially true for us in Kenya, who recently saw off our ready contingent with great expectation. Our team has delivered the finest Olympic performance by TeamKenya in history.

For a country with a long and distinguished Olympic tradition, this is a truly remarkable feat.

Kenya was challenged on many fronts, both on and off the track and field. By winning clean, competing joyfully and being a united national team, TeamKenya represented our uniting values and enabled the world to witness them in action.

With six Gold, six Silver and a Bronze medal, no one can dispute Kenya’s position as a global athletic superpower. We are all very proud of every member of TeamKenya in Rio.

We salute your achievement. We are grateful to those who won medals, joining the illustrious ranks of gallant patriots and global standard-setters. We appreciate the hard work, commitment, discipline and focus required to qualify for competition at the global elite level.

Kenyan youth are not short of worthy role models as long as they watch our Olympians apply their ethics and values in transforming their lives. With you, we celebrate the rewards of living by the rules and doing your best.

We also recognise our brothers and sisters who ably competed under different national flags at the Olympics.

It is clear that our talent, values and commitment to succeed have made a strong impression beyond our borders. We must congratulate them as well.

At the same time, it is important for us to have a proper understanding of the institutional, policy and administrative failures that have compelled Kenyans over the years to seek opportunity by representing other countries.

The problems which frustrated many sports people on international assignment go a long way to erode incentives for our athletes to proudly turn up in Kenyan colours and win.

They should be, and will be a thing of the past very shortly. We will ensure that lessons are learnt, questions are answered, action is taken and full accountability achieved.

Every Kenyan must take their responsibilities seriously and be ready to face the consequences of their actions.

This applies equally to our athletics administration as well as other federations.

We welcome our triumphant TeamKenya back home with joy.

We are proud of you. You are our finest. You have kept your promise. On behalf of the people of Kenya, I assure you that Government will keep its promise.

Congratulatory message by President Uhuru Kenyatta

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