Two-time Olympic Kenyan champion (1968-1972) in athletics in middle- and long-distance running, Kipchoge Keino, is the first ever athlete to receive the Olympic Laurel award.
The new Olympic Laurel award was created to honour outstanding sportsmen and women for achievements in social engagement.
Mr Keino received the award during the official opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
He was chosen by an independent judging panel from the five continents.
After retiring from competition in 1973, Mr Keino opened a children’s home, which is today home to almost 100 Kenyan orphans.
Three years later, he opened the Kip Keino High Performance Training Centre, to train the most promising athletes in Kenya.
Mr Keino said, “We come into this world with nothing… and depart this world with nothing… it’s what we contribute to the community that is our legacy.”
Starting with Rio 2016, the Olympic Laurel Award will be given every four years during the Olympic Games to those with achievements in education, culture, development and peace through sport.
The stone used in the Olympic Laurel Award trophy comes from the site of Olympia and symbolises the connection with the ancient Olympic Games.
The creation of the Olympic Laurel is one of the initiatives that emerged from recommendation 26 of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, to further strengthen the blending of sport and culture.