Kenya’s Olympic champion and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge was named a Laureus Sport For Good ambassador on Wednesday, on what was the two-year anniversary of him breaking the marathon world record in Berlin.
Laureus Sport for Good, founded under the patronage of the late Nelson Mandela 20 years ago, currently supports more than 200 programmes in over 40 countries that use the power of sport to transform lives.
Kipchoge, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner in history, was the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. He is also the recipient of the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award.
Following the announcement, Kipchoge said he was “proud” to join Laureus in his new role to strengthen the institution’s effort to change the world through sport.
“I want to encourage young people to chase their dreams and show them a strong heart and a good mind can help achieve whatever they want. Whatever their background, everybody should have a chance,” Kipchoge said.
“I think together we can make this world a beautiful world. I hope that I can inspire young people to run. I am aware that I now have a huge responsibility to do this and it is something that I will work very hard to achieve.”
A host of renowned former athletes took to social media to congratulate the Kenyan on his new role.
“Proud to have you on board! Looking forward to working with you to make positive impact on the lives of young people through the power of sport,” former 200m and 400m record holder and Olympic champion Michael Johnson said.
“What an inspiration and role model!! Welcome to the Laureus family,” South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winner Bryan Habana said.
“Welcome Eliud- an inspirational champion human and athlete:)!!!” 18-time tennis Grand Slam champions and LGBT rights activist Martina Navratilova said.
Over the past two decades, Laureus Sport for Good has raised more than €150 million for the Sport for Development sector, and reached and helped change the lives of close to six million children and young people.