President Uhuru Kenyatta has handed over the national flag to Rio 2016 Olympics Games National Team with a call to Kenyans to rally behind the team.
The President assured the team of support as they continue carrying the Kenyan flag high in the world of sports.
“We will pray for you, cheer you on and wish you the best as you tell the world the beautiful story of Kenya, the land of joyful, determined, hardworking proud people,” said the President.
President Kenyatta was speaking Friday morning at State House Nairobi where he flagged off the Kenyan team to Rio, Brazil.
The President commended the athletes for their discipline, excellence and sacrifice that has projected them to national sporting leadership.
“You now stand on the cusp of worldwide glory. As you proceed to the Olympics, therefore, you bear your own dreams and aspirations as well as the expectations of 40 million Kenyans,” he said.
The President reminded the athletes that they are not only a group of elite sportspeople but goodwill ambassadors representing the country at a global event.
The Head of State urged them to ensure they uphold the hard earned global reputation of Kenya as a clean sporting nation.
“Kenya has a strong tradition of proud, clean and successful competition in the Olympics. It is your turn to take this heritage even higher and make your brothers and sisters proud of their nation and their flag. I encourage each of you to rise to the occasion and excel, said President.
The President said Kenya has great athletes of international repute who don’t need to use drugs to win.
“These people don’t need drugs or to be doped to win. We know they can win. Go out there and show how Kenya can do it. Show them we can win clean even if we don’t win show them we can play clean,” said the President
He thanked sponsors, trainers and all well-wishers for their facilitation of members of team Kenya during their preparations for the Olympics.
“I salute Kenya Breweries Ltd for their continuing support for sports in Kenya. KBL have dedicated Sh71m to Team Kenya to Rio, part of which has been used in various marketing campaigns to mobilise Kenyans to support our team,” said the President.
Adding; “We also thank the other sponsors – Lotto, Unilever, Manu Chandaria, Safaricom, KD Wire, Governor Mandago and Uasin Gishu County, Governor Cleophas Lagat and Nandi County.”
Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario said team Kenya which has a contingent of 185 members including officials will be participating in seven fields at the Olympic Games which include athletics, archery, judo, boxing, swimming, rugby and weight lifting. They team also included 38 athletes who will participate in that Paralympics that will be held immediate after the Olympics.
“We are ready to be tested, we are open we have nothing to hide and so far we have more than 400 tests which have been carried out,” said CS Wario.
Other speakers included President of National Olympics Committee Kenya (NOCK) Dr. Kipchoge Keino.