On Rudisha, Kitum and the 2024 Olympic Bid

David Rudisha World Record

The man pictured above is a beast. A godly beast.

There are 2 things to note about that picture. The first is the man pointing at that world record; a humble and proud man who has done a formidable thing. The second is that flag. That country he bears on his back, that covers his identity, that Kenyan flag.

Last night, Rudisha quite literally had the entire country on his back. We needed that victory. We needed that gold medal. And boy did he deliver; in such spectacular fashion. Gold. World Record. Olympic record. Three in one.

Not to be overshadowed was the 17 year old running beside him.

Kitum Rudisha

Timothy Kitum ran his ass off and took that bronze. Not a small feat for that age. When I was 17, I think my greatest achievement could be measured in how many shots I took the night before without blacking out. This kid just ran 800m in 1:42. That’s formidable. And Kenya recognized that. With Kemboi’s hugs still fresh in our minds, that national anthem played last night in its original capacity as a lullaby.

Kenya slept well.

Just to wake up to this sh*t.

Listen, man, I love my country as much as any other dude but what in the flying funk is our PM thinking? What’s the aim here? The only forgivable angle here is that we’re going for publicity; in which case, cool, do all the PR you can PM.

But the fact that he has announced this before (in 2004 and 2008), kinda worries me. Aren’t we being a wee bit pretentious with this bid? Assuming that we somehow outdo the other giants on the other continents…Let me list a few of the other cities bidding: Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan in Asia, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam in Europe, Toronto, New York and half of North America, and Melbourne and Brisbane in Oceania. Assuming be outclass these foreign entities, we still have to bid against Durban and Casablanca in Africa. Casablanca has already began building stadia and facilities to bid for both 2024 and 2028. Durban…well, let’s not compare Durban and Nairobi right now.

The point I’m making is, even on the off-chance that we somehow land the trillion dollars it’ll take to do all the work and complete all this construction in less than 10 years, and get a handle on the crime and corruption, and we win the bid..what happens after the olympics? What are we going to do with cycling tracks and aquatic parks and skating rinks and all that nonsense? Is there an actual plan for this?

The point I’m making is, in any realm of rationality is Kenya ready for a full blown Summer Olympics in the next 20 years, let alone the next 10?


So why bid?

My guess is that the odds are so low and the money is so much that this will turn into one of the major scandals that’ll stunt our growth for the next decade or 3.

As for right now, it’s just the cover story of the Financial Times and CNN. Which technically means it’s just a bad dream that may go away.

Perhaps this once, we should just enjoy the good work done by Mr. Rudisha and Mr. Kitum

So proud of you guys.

Let’s hope Pamela Jelimo can bring one home as well as the Olympics come to an end.

5 thoughts on “On Rudisha, Kitum and the 2024 Olympic Bid

  1. Rudisha was more than impressive!! Gold, WR and OR all at once? Even Bolt had to recognise the dude……!! As for Kitum, all I can tell the world is this, that 800m is secured for Kenya for many years to come!! Just forget about it and focus on other races…!

    PM be dreaming!! But it is not bad to dream…..its the practicality of the idea that is very challenging.

  2. That announcement just makes us a laughing stock. What was Raila thinking? Have you looked at Nyayo stadium? Or City Stadium for that matter? When the IOC come for inspection, they will not believe the jam on Mombasa road.

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