SPEECH BY AMB. (DR.) AMINA MOHAMED EGH, CAV DURING THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS 100 DAYS KENYA LAUNCH ON 24TH MARCH 2021 HELD AT THE KENYA NATIONAL MUSEUMS.
Hon. Simon Kachapin, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage
Mr Joe Okudo, Principal Secretary State Department for Sports
Other Principal Secretaries Present.
Dr Paul Tergat, President, NOCK
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am pleased to join you today on the 14th April 2021 as we mark 100 days to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Kenya is a significant member of the Olympic Family, having participated in the Olympic Games record 14 editions with impressive performances In the last edition of the Olympics, Kenya finished 15th of the 205 participating nations on the medal table and second to the US in track and field medals.
This year, as we head to Tokyo, we are reminded of our very special history with this City: Kenya won its first Olympic Medal in 1964 in Tokyo. We are going back to where it all began.
With one hundred days to the Olympics, we are ready to rewrite history.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Kenya is the most successful Olympic nation in Africa, leading on medal count at 103. Kenya competed at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, for the first time as an independent country with 37 competitors, all men (Kenya had participated in the Olympics since 1954). Wilson Kiprugut won the nation’s first-ever Olympic medal. Since then we’ve had over 600 athletes represent Kenya.
In the Olympics of 1968, we had the first entry of women representing Kenya. On that note, heading into Tokyo 2020, we are going to the Olympics as a leading African country to have a 50/50 gender inclusion at the games.
As we start this countdown today, I am pleased to note that preparations for the teams are in top gear despite the glaring challenge so far of our lifetime-COVID-19. We have vaccinated each and every Olympic bound athlete with the first dose. We are working with the Ministry of Health to ensure that the athletes receive their second dose at least four to six weeks before competitions.
The Ministry has gradually but steadily created a paradigm shift that places the athlete at the Centre of all our operations. In this regard, I direct that NOCK and the Central Management Committee sustains the Ministry’s athlete-centric policy to ensure all activities being executed are in the best interest of our athletes.
The Olympics and our Kenyan athletes in particular have several characteristics represented in all its citizens.
Our athletes take inspiration from Kenya’s unique strengths as country through its beauty and people. We are known to be very hard working citizens, school going learners, beautiful landscapes and game reserves, from our music to our food, our families as well as our fight against the pandemic that’s driven by our competitiveness and sacrifice of all our athletes.
As the sun rises over Kenya, it reveals athletes already up and training for their respective sports – working hard towards their ultimate goal of competing on the world stage, at the same time complemented by different individuals waking up to start their days from work, school, farm, doctors, nurses, police, children and all.
This attitude shows the sheer determination with which our Olympic athletes greet each new day. 100 days until Tokyo – a mere representation of a bucket of 50M plus Kenyans waking up to make the day worth counting.
We are all here for a reason and that’s to reaffirm our continued commitment to our athletes today. That every athlete has their own reasons to compete and hope to be selected to represent team Kenya one day but once selected you to represent the flag.
The reason we work hard every day is for the country, people, family, friends, children….no better reason today to say that the athletes, the people of Kenya and generations to come please join in our Tokyo 2020 Olympics campaign slogan:
The campaign will also combine the launch of the Team Kenya Hub while at the same time run after the Olympics to keep inspiring Kenyans to start looking for a reason to work towards the next Olympics and/or youth games