By Naftali Mwaura NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s long-distance runner and current holder of the world
marathon record Eliud Kipchoge, was named the 2018 United
Nations Person of the Year on Wednesday for harnessing sports to
advance the welfare of humanity.
father of three, who smashed the world marathon record by
clocking a time of 2:01.39 during the Sept. 16 Berlin Marathon,
pledged to use his athletic prowess to advocate for youth
empowerment and an HIV-free planet.
“This UN Person of
the Year Award is a recognition of my efforts to inspire the
youth to realize their full potential. I will use this award to
sensitize communities about HIV/Aids and promote wildlife
conservation,” Kipchoge said.
Monica Juma, Kenya’s
Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, was joined by UN
officials and diplomats at a ceremony to present the 2018 UN
Person of the Year Award to Kipchoge.
“We celebrate the
recognition by the UN of Kipchoge’s huge contribution to the
advancement of values like hard work, service to humanity and
unity,” Juma said. “As a country, we recognize Kipchoge for
embodying strength and resilience that the current generation of
youth requires to achieve their goals,” she added.
Juma said that Kenya
is banking on its youthful population to promote development
that is inclusive and peaceful. Kenyans from all walks of life
have bagged the UN Person of the Year Award since its inception
in 2002 for promoting causes that make a difference in the lives
the UN Resident Coordinator said Kipchoge has stood out from a
large army of Kenyan long-distance runners by advocating for the
health of communities, environmental sustainability and youth
“Eliud Kipchoge is
not only a champion and a mentor for the youth but is also a
tireless advocate for sustainable development goals,” Chatterjee