NAIROBI, Kenya, December 29 – Kenya's lone Winter Olympics competitor Philip Boit will be participating for the fourth and last time in the Olympic Cross-Country Ski Competition in the forthcoming 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to be held in Canada.Boit, who has been training in Finland for the past year, is gearing up for the Olympics and is feeling confident that there will be a marked improvement in his last Olympic performance.
“I am really pleased to be representing Kenya in next year’s Winter Olympics. It’s a big achievement and a great opportunity to be the only Kenyan and one of the very few Africans at the games,” said Boit.
“I have been training since January this year and I am glad that during training I have improved on my skiing compared to other years. During training, this year I broke my past records in the10km and 15 km cross-country ski competitions. My previous timing was 30mins and 10secs in the 10 km but my new best time is 26mins 35secs and for the 15kms cross country, it was 47mins17secs but my best time now is 40mins 9secs,” he added.
Boit is being supported by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) and will be accompanied to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics by NOCK Secretary General, Mr. F.K Paul, who has been instrumental in Boit’s participation at the Olympics.
More than 80 nations are expected to participate in the 17 days of the Olympic Winter Games to be held on February 12-28 and more than 40 nations will take part in the 10 days of the Paralympic Winter Games’ in March.
With them will come an estimated 5,500 Olympic and 1,350 Paralympic athletes and officials.
“In 2010, Canada will have the honour of hosting the Olympic Games for the third time. It is truly exciting to see an athlete from Kenya, a country that does not experience snow or the winter season, participate in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to be held in Canada, I wish him the best as he participates in the Cross-Country Skiing Competition”, said Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E Ross Hynes.
Approximately 10,000 media representatives and 80 host broadcasters will report the Games to an estimated worldwide audience of three billion. The Games will take place in 15 competition and non-competition venues, including athletes’ villages, media centres, and medal presentation venues.
Notably, Canada is the first host country to fly the Olympic and Paralympics flags side by side and is committed to providing unprecedented exposure to the Paralympics Winter Games, which will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2010.