Olympic role awaits Paul Tergat

By evelyn watta
Sep 09, 2021

Buenos Aires, Paul Tergat dressed in an immaculate navy blue suit shrugs off the elective heat and mingles freely with the rank and file of the International Olympic Committee, (IOC). 

He has brief interactions, some lengthy ones with the members of the IOC, who will decide whether he is ripe to join the exclusive club of world sports.

It is not the first time that he is attending an IOC forum but this is the closest he has gotten following his successful nomination by the Executive Board last July in Lausanne.

“I am hopeful it shall go my way,” he offered in between the marathon IOC session in Buenos Aires, with a tinge of anxiety.

For a man whose life has been defined by sports, he well deserves the honour to serve in the Olympic movement following in the footsteps of legendary Kipchoge Keino, now an honorary member, the only other Kenyan IOC member.

It is a duty the former world marathon record holder hankers and is readied for since he stopped pounding the streets, in search of honours and world records in 2010 following a near fatal motor accident near Eldoret.

The retired long distance runner, winner of five World cross country titles currently runs the Paul Tergat Foundation and is the founder of the prestigious Kenya Sports Personality of the year awards, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in December.

Tuesday’s process will be a procedural election but the 43 year old must attain the required (50+1 votes) meaning he has to get the support of at least 48 members of the 95 who will be casting the votes.

The National Olympics Committee of Kenya Chairman Kipchoge who is also attending the session in the Argentine capital has been apprising the two time Olympic silver medalist of the intrigues of the elite club. Tergat  assured of the 10 votes by the African IOC members.

Tergat who  holds various ambassadorial appointments in the United Nations,  will be seeking inclusion alongside Dagmawit Girmay Berhane of Ethiopia, Octavian Morariu of Romania, Bernard Rajzman of Brazil, Mikaela Maria Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski of the Philippines, Alexander Zhukov of Russia, U.S. Olympic Committee Lawrence Probst III of the United States, Camiel Eurlings of the Netherlands and high jumper Stefan Holm of Sweden.

Currently there are 100 members with the maximum numbers set at 115.

“It would be a big honour to serve in the Olympic movement,” he offers as he makes his way to observe the voting system for the additional sport for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic games.

 The IOC membership is one of the most coveted appointments in the world of sports. As members they attend IOC sessions, have voting rights for various Olympic bids and are assured of attending IOC organised competitions like the Youth, summer and winter Olympic games.

The members votes will be followed by the highly anticipated elections of the IOC president from six candidates :Thomas Bach(Germany), Sergey Bubka((Ukraine), Richard Carrion(Puerto Rico), Ser Miang Ng(Singapore),Dennis Oswald(Singapore) and Ching-Kuo Wu(Chinese Taipei).