The surprise Olympic Marathon gold medalist comes from humble roots.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but now that Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda is an Olympic marathon champion, the world is focusing on his background.
Kiprotich defeated the very best the rest of the world had to offer last Sunday when seized the lead in the 26.2-mile race with 5K to go.
Back home in Uganda, Kiprotich’s parents are asking their government for better treatment.
The couple lives on half an acre of land since they were evicted Mt. Elgon National Park in 1965.
“We are peasant farmers,” said Kopkop Cheptum, Kiprotich’s 60-year-old mother. “We do solely rely on earnings from subsistence farming and handouts from our children to survive. We no longer have energy to run errands. Look at this house. It’s not befitting of parents of a national hero.”
The elderly couple owns a solitary cow and get by with a meager poultry business.
“Kiprotich is our main caretaker in this family,” said the runner’s 80-year-old father. “Whenever he goes for international events and wins money, he spares some for his upkeep, for his training and uses the balance to educate some of his brothers and close relatives.”
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