On the occasion of the Princess of Asturias 2023 awards ceremony in Oviedo, Spain, Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, winner in the sport category, talks about his career, his intact sporting ambitions and his desire to make the world a better place.
Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge has become a living legend in the sport over the past 20 years, and he shows no signs of burning out or slowing down. But now he finds himself in the unusual position on the comeback trail, as his last official marathon record has been broken.
You have been described many times as a gift to sport, a gift to humanity.
Some people say you are the perfect marriage of mind and body. How do you react when you hear these types of descriptions about you and your exemplary career?
“I was really touched to learn that I was one of the few people to be recognized, especially in my field, sport, and particularly running.”
"It has been said of you that you are a gift to sport, a gift to humanity. Some say you are the perfect marriage of body and mind, an ideal athlete. How do you feel when you hear this type of description about you and your successful career?
Eliud Kipchoge: "I feel really motivated. I feel inspired by the fact that I was somehow spared something in this universe, and that's a huge motivation. And, you know , we live on this planet, and it belongs to everyone. And we must inspire everyone. We must live in harmony. We must live in peace. We must enjoy real life in this world. And that's why that I hope to work.
"Is that the secret to your success? This desire to want to inspire others because you've been at the top for 20 years? In any field, which is remarkable."
“Oh, I think real success [is] mastering what you do. V I am aware of my running skills and I realize that the more I harness them, the more I inspire someone.
The more efficient I am, the more positive vibes I transmit to a child. By increasing my performance, I could convince someone to go out in the morning and start running for themselves.''
"You are known for so many things: Olympic titles, world championship titles, marathon records and most recently, in 2019, when you were the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. ?
"It's great to make history [...] It means that there are no limits, as far as humanity is concerned. That's why I always say that no human is limited. So I show people how there are no limits. "You have to be a real professional runner to exceed your limits. You can be a teacher, an educationist, an engineer or a lawyer, but you must break the boundaries of your own circle in this world in order to enjoy life. I believe that life "is about challenging yourself. I believe that life is about napping all night and looking up in the morning as a new day approaches with a new challenge, and making it go forward. "
I don't know if you are now wearing these shoes, called the "super shoes" that so many athletes have adopted in recent years and which have broken records. Your own marathon record was broken earlier this month. Are you considering getting it back?
"Oh, I'm still hungry to run fast. I'm still hungry to show the world that I can run fast. I'm still hungry to show the future generation, the kids, that I still want to run longer. Longevity is the key to sport. Longevity is the key to any profession. And you know, records are there to be broken. It shows the beauty of sport and that someone somewhere is working for it."
“How do you deal with fame and fortune?”
"First, I treat myself like a human being, and I know that fame and fortune are things that I collect when they come. I say thank you for the fame and fortune. And I use them to inspire the youth."
“What are your future ambitions? »
"My ambition is to make this world a place for running. I have faith that if we can all run, we can make this world happy. We can come together and enjoy this one."
Thank you so much
Thanks to you too