Wilson Chuma Kiprugut, First Kenyan Olympic Medalist, Passes Away
On Tuesday, November 1st, the Kenyan Athletics Federation reported that the first Olympic medalist from Kenya, Wilson Chuma Kiprugut, passed away at the age of 84.
According to his family, Wilson Kiprugut lost consciousness at home and passed away on Tuesday in the western Kenyan hospital of Kericho.
The federation’s president, Jackson Tuwei, told AFP, “Chuma was one of those athletes who put Kenya on the map. This is a sad day for the country and for the world of athletics. He was an extraordinary man.”
According to his national federation, his 1964 bronze medal was “extremely valuable because it was the first ever for Kenya, inspiring other athletes to shine on the Olympic stage.”
In the 800-meter race at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Chuma finished third.
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Following his third-place finish in 1964, where he finished behind Peter Snell of New Zealand, the Kenyan sprinter earned silver at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
Wilson Chuma Kiprugut worked as a supervisor on the tea plantations of a British multinational corporation in Kericho after retiring from sports.
Chuma was one of the nation’s “pioneering athletes,” according to Athletics Kenya. He passed away in Kericho County following a protracted illness.
Additionally, Athletics Kenya said, “We will surely miss the presence of a truly loveable and kind person who selflessly made the country proud on the global stage.”
Chuma was hailed as a “trailblazer” by Paul Tergat, the head of the Kenyan National Olympic Committee.
Tergat added that “Chuma opened the way for our athletes and country to establish the rich tradition and status of Kenya’s athletic and sporting prowess within the Olympic movement.”
Furthermore, “as we celebrate this icon, we note with pride that his legacy is immortalized as our athletes continue the winning tradition he established. We join the family and the rest of the sporting fraternity in mourning this great athlete.”