Prime Minister Raila Odinga believes Kenya can still bid for the Olympics seven years after former Sports minister Ochilo Ayacko announced that the country would bid for the 2016 Games.
Speaking to businessmen from Meru who hosted him at Valencia Gardens Restaurant in Lavington on Thursday night, the Premier said the fighting spirit of Kenya’s athletes in international games is a living example of actualising the Olympics Games hosting dream.
He recalled that in 1964, Kenya as a new republic competed in the Tokyo Olympics and won one bronze medal. Four years later Kenya went to the Games as a rank outsider but won many medals.
Healing and reconciliation process
They included three gold medals in the 1,500 metres, 10,000m and 3,000m steeplechase.
In Beijing four years ago the haul of 14 medals – including the first ever gold medal by a woman, Pamela Jelimo in the 800m – acted as a national healing and reconciliation process following the post-2007 election violence.
Ayacko made the bold announcement during the official opening of National Olympic Committee’s Upper Hill, Nairobi, headquarters in 2005. Present were Raila and the International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge who promised that the IOC would support in Kenya’s bid.
Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Games.
On Thursday, Raila said while President Mwai Kibaki would attend the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games later this month, he would be in London for the closing ceremony to give moral support to the team, which is expected to win many medals and surpass past editions.