Thursday, 16 April 2009
Philip Boit skis on snow at the Winter Games
It's interesting when the country's almost drying up its rivers and water sources someone thinks we can hack some ice on this side of the world,a few miles south of the Sahara...and a diminishing snow-cap on Mt.Kenya -a world's only snow-capped Mount on the Equator !
Since the launch of the first ice-rink in Kenya and Eastern Africa in 2005, many a sports enthusiasts (read ice-sports) have thought that this presents a good opportunity for Kenya to take its sports beyond the traditional outdoor events which its immensely endowed.
No argument there yet !
Early this year, some kids from private learning institutions guided by their tutors thought they can participate in the ice-skating events hosted in the Scandinavian countries...commendable idea but almost sentence to failure and possible ridicule.
I was quickly reminded of one Philip Boit-the first black African Winter Olympian to compete in the Winter Olympics Games cross-country event in Nagano-Japan . Having defied the odds of training on rough rugged hills of the Rift Valley province in Kenya and the usual stereotypes of running on the same hills, he attracted much attention from the awkward look he potrayed...all in the spirit of the games.
In March this year, he announced that he would be participating in the Winter Games to be held in Vancouver-Canada in 2010. He has participated in 4 previous Games with little or no support and as such feels he will retire next year due to lack of support and sponsorship. Commitment not in doubt by any chance !
There's word that we are now looking towards initiating the ice-stock or curling in the country...:-)..:-). tsk !
But if we are to make any serious progress on ice sports, we need to seriously engage countries that have these conditions and also invest quite some substantial amounts in the discipline. For fear of writing off such stunts, I will watch with interest what comes of this but your guess maybe as good as mine...