IOC Gives Golden Kiprotich Special Medal

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has presented Uganda’s sole gold medal winner at the 2012 London Olympics with a special medal in recognition of his achievement.

Stephen Kiprotich
Stephen Kiprotich

State Minister for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi presented the medal to Stephen Kiprotich on behalf of the IOC during a ceremony that took place at the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) offices in Lugogo on Friday night.

Kiprotich won Uganda’s second Olympic medal in 40 years after John Akii Bua won it at the 1972 Munich Olympics. While receiving the IOC medal, Kiprotich said it is another happy moment for him because it shows that his achievement is noticed.

The special medal is usually given to excelling sportsmen in recognition of their contribution to sports.

Kiprotich, who also finished sixth at last month’s Virgin London Marathon, said he was honoured by the IOC award. Bakkabulindi said sportsmen and women need to emulate winners like Kiprotich who have put the country on the map.

UOC also used the ceremony to launch an electronic library and research centre, the second of its kind in East and Central Africa. William Blick, the Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) President said only South Africa has an e-library.

Blick described it as a milestone for sports in Uganda, and that it will go a long way in improving sports research in the country.

State minister for primary education Kamanda Bataringaya officiated at the event as chief guest in place of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.

Reading from Rugunda’s speech, Bataringaya said the ICT ministry has donated five computers to UOC and that it is exploring ways of further supporting the Olympic Committee to help them develop sports.

Sports Minister Bakkabulindi called on the over 10 federation heads attending the ceremony, to unit and work in harmony for the better of sports.

The research centre, equipped with several books about Uganda’s sporting history, will help link the past to the present Ugandan sports fraternity. The e-library was established with the support of the International Olympic Committee.

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