The Great Ms. Loroupe



"Her father called her ‘Useless’; that was his name for her..."

and yet..

"in the running world, Loroupe is celebrated as the winner of the New York City Marathon in 1994 and 1995, the first black African woman to win a major marathon, and a former world-record holder at the distance of 26.2 miles.

She has mediated tribal disputes over grazing land, water and cattle raiding, persuaded 700 members of her tribe, the Pokot people, to surrender 38 guns as part of an anti-rustling campaign. 
She has campaigned against female genital mutilation and fought for the broader rights of girls and women in patriarchal societies of East Africa. 
She operates a school for nearly 400 children, trying to keep them from becoming child soldiers, providing shelter for those orphaned by AIDS or dislocated by war, offering the nourishment of food and education in the face of poverty, conflict and cultural skepticism. 
In 2006, she was named a United Nations ambassador of sport. 
She is the leader of a group of 10 displaced athletes, known as the Refugee Olympic Team. It will march Friday in the opening ceremony, carrying the Olympic flag, serenaded by the Olympic anthem."
-Jeré Longman, NYT

..and I love her from afar.

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