Friday, August 12, 2016

Kip Keino: A Star In Many Ways

Many of us are halfway through the Olympic Games -- cheering on our favorites and celebrating the medals given to the impressive athletes excelling at their sport. But today is also International Youth Day, and last week the Olympics presented a special award to someone whose life has impacted hundreds of children.

Kipchoge Keino won two gold medals and two silver medals at the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, breaking track world records and becoming an international star almost overnight. His most important work didn't start until he retired in 1973, when he returned home to Kenya and began working with children to provide them with greater access to education and opportunities.

Kip Keino with the orphans he raises in Kenya, via CNN

With his wife, philanthropist and nurse Phyllis Keino, Keino began an orphanage for children in Kenya, which later led to the creation of schools to provide them and other children with an education. Now, he also runs a training center for students who want to become athletes, in addition to the schools and orphanage.

Keino's work has impacted hundreds of children, and the Olympics Laurel award is sharing his work with the world.

In this video, listen to his story as he reminds us that "this is the thing we need, to be able to assist those needed children in our society, we need to build this world to be a better world."

The Olympics show us how our athletes are not just competitors. They can change the world. And someday, some of these children will become our Olympians, and will change our children's world.

Today, on International Youth Day, let us honor Kip Keino, whose work is empowering children to become our future Olympians, leaders, and heroes.

--Mackenzie Malia
AAVia Foundation Co-Founder & President

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