Eldoret, the City of Champions, has unveiled a wall of fame to honour Kenyan athletes. In the event held at the Eka Hotel in the heart of Eldoret on 24th September 2023, athletic stars were immortalised in a wall of fame meant to celebrate their achievements.
Eldoret Town, located in the North Rift region of Kenya, is the home of global athletics champions. Most iconic stars gracing athletics events hail from the area and call Eldoret their hometown. Thus, having a wall of fame in the town was indeed a great idea.
The unveiling of the wall of fame happened on Sunday as Eliud Kipchoge once again reigned in the Berlin marathon. Eliud Kipchoge and other world beaters participate in Marathons, World Cross Country, the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, etc.
Indeed, having a wall of fame specifically for athletic stars is commendable. In the past, athletes have graced the tracks but eventually retired and disappeared, not to be remembered. The wall of fame will keep their names alive long after their careers end.
A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.Robert Heinlein, American author (1907-1988)
As already stated, the wall of fame was unveiled at the Eka Hotel. It’s strategically located at the Rupa Mall-based hotel’s reception. This ensures it catches the attention of everyone visiting the hotel. This will help ensure the athletes are retired but remembered years later.
Uasin Gishu Governor H.E Jonathan Bii Chelilim and the German Ambassador to Kenya, Sebastian Groth, graced the event. The event host was Eka Hotel’s General Manager John Kanyi, who told the guests what the wall of fame meant to Eldoret.
According to GM Mr. John Kanyi, Eka Hotel the Wall of Fame is worth it. He mentioned that it was vital to recognize the rich athletics heritage of the North Rift. Besides, he stated that the hotel wanted to set up a section to showcase the exceptional success of Kenyan athletes.
In addition to honoring the top athletes, the Wall of Fame will inspire young and aspiring athletes. The Wall of Fame will also showcase the stories of those featured to ensure visitors learn more about them. It’ll also position the region as a sports tourism hub.
At the time of the launch, the wall of fame already had pictures of most athletics stars erected on it. One of the notable athletes already featured on the wall is the legendary Kipchoge Keino, who also has a stadium named after him a few kilometers from the hotel.
Other athletes featured on it are coach Patrick Sang, Eliud Kipchoge, Ezekiel Kemboi, Moses Tanui, Faith Kipyegon, Beatrice Chepkoech, David Rudisha, Rosemary Wanjiru, Leah Malot, and Irene Cheptai. These are athletes who’ve excelled in a wide range of disciplines.
However, according to the Eka Hotel management, there is more to the list. More is yet to come as there are a whole lot of other stars who are yet to be featured on the wall of fame. Soon, they will ensure all the athletes who fly the Kenyan flag are featured.
After erecting the athletes’ pictures, the hotel plans to take the project to a new level. There are plans to install digital displays to showcase every featured athlete’s biography, achievements, and records. Memorabilia and artifacts will also be added to it.
But then, remembering that this wall of fame for athletes isn’t the first one in Eldoret is worth remembering. In August, on the sidelines of the devolution conference held in Eldoret, President William Ruto unveiled the first wall of fame in town in the newly built Eldoret Arboretum.
The iconic structure facing the Eldoret-Iten road is divided into four categories. This includes a category for Olympic champions, another for Marathon greats, World Cross Country champions, and World Champions. It honors both legendary and elite athletes.
The unveiling of the Eldoret Arboretum’s wall of fame was attended by athletics stars like Eliud Kipchoge and Tecla Chemabwai. They all commended the county government for appreciating athletes’ efforts to ensure the Kenyan flag always flies high.
The Walls of Fame coming up in Eldoret Town is a great initiative. They will ensure that history is never forgotten. Also, they will immortalise the athletes’ names, motivate young athletes to work harder and leave a mark on the national and global stages.