The Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge defended this Friday the benefits of physical exercise and running as a vehicle to unite people, stressing that “a world that runs is a happy world” and that “a happy world is a world at peace.”
Kipchoge spoke in these terms during his speech at the 2023 Princess of Asturias Awards ceremony, held at the Campoamor Theater from Oviedo, where he received the award in the Sports category.
“There is a strong parallel between running and our daily lives, where, to be happy, we should focus on our mental health and overcome the challenges presented to us before finally reaching the proverbial finish line. Because let me share one thing with you tonight: someone who finishes a marathon is capable of achieving anything in life,” she said.
When a person runs, neither their origins nor the color of their skin matters, he commented. “Running is a vehicle that has the power to unite us”he celebrated, pointing out that it is something that allows different cultures and trajectories to come together.
Kipchoge has revealed that When you win a race, it’s not a big deal to celebrate. What he does is go back to his training camp in Kenya and plant a tree. “The joy that comes from growing a tree lasts many lifetimes,” she noted.
But in addition, Kipchoge has defended the environment and education, two issues on which the foundation that bears his name focuses. “We must focus on instilling sound sustainability practices that allow us to care for our planet“commented the athlete, who added that his objective is to help with educational programs inside and outside Kenya for young people.
Kipchoge, born in Nandi County (Kenya) on November 5, 1984, He is the current absolute dominator of the marathon event, and is considered a legend of world athletics, as well as the best marathon runner of all time.
In recent years, the Nandi athlete has managed to prevail in 15 of the 18 tests of the discipline that he has competed in and has reached the top of the podium 10 times in four of the so-called ‘big’ marathons.
Nicknamed ‘the Philosopher’ by the media due to his strategic skill In racing and his ability to concentrate, Kipchoge is the current Olympic marathon champion and also holds the world record in that discipline.
He began his sports career achieving success as a long-distance runner. After becoming world champion in the 5,000 meters in 2003, he took bronze in the same distance at the 2004 Athens Olympics and silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After an injury that kept him from the London Olympics in 2012decided to change the track for asphalt.
He won the 2016 London Marathon, where he established a new mark, and arrived at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games as the absolute king of the discipline. There he authoritatively achieved the first Olympic gold medal in his record, which was completed with a new triumph at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, held in 2021 due to the postponement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador of the Laureus World Sports Foundation, Eliud Kipchoge has been elected Athlete of the Year by World Athletics on two occasions (2018 and 2019) and was one of the ten finalists of 2021. Also in 2021 he created the Eliud Kipchoge Foundation, whose objective is to facilitate access to children’s education and environmental protection.
Felipe VI praises his “titanic effort”
During his speech of thanks to all those awarded, King Felipe VI highlighted that Kipchoge “has faced the most difficult challenges throughout his sporting career” and that “his impressive successes make him a legendary runner of all times”.
“These triumphs are the reflection of an attitude towards life and that is what forges the best athletes: the constant desire to improve and the healthy ambition to be better and better, to go further and further, as the game teaches us well. olympism through healthy, clean and demanding sporting competition,” the monarch continued.
“From his titanic effort over the years, he has also learned the importance of sharing success and, above all, of ensuring that The most disadvantaged They can also enjoy it. Through his foundation he has become someone whom we not only admire for those incredible sporting feats, but we also especially thank him for his dedication to solidarity,” concluded Felipe VI.