Menu

Kiprotich’s Parents Plead For Better Home

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Aug. 14, 2012
  • Updated Aug. 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM UTC
Stephen Kiprotich's parents insist they deserve better living conditions. Photo: New Vision.co.org

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.”

For More: New Vision

FILED UNDER: News / Olympic Games TAGS: / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter