Philip Boit


Philip Boit

Philip Kimely Boit (born December 12, 1971 in Eldoret) is a cross-county skier and the first Kenyan to participate in the Winter Olympics. His first name is sometimes spelled as "Phillip".

Philip Boit and his compatriot Henry Bitok were trained in Finland in order to become competitive skiers. Both were former middle distance runners with no previous skiing experience. Their project was sponsored by sportswear giant Nike. Their winter training began in February 1996. Kenya had only one slot for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, which was taken by Philip Boit, while Henry Bitok finished his skiing career soon. Boit's participation in the games gained worldwide media coverage. He finished 92nd and last in the 10-kilometer classic race. The awards for the race were delayed while the winner Bjørn Dæhlie waited for Boit to reach the finish line in order to hug him. The experience was so moving for Boit that he named one of his sons Dæhlie Boit.

Later, Boit participated the 1999 Nordic skiing World Championships in Ramsau, Austria, and finished again last in the 10km classic event. After the event Nike dropped its sponsorship, hence he had to settle for "dry training" in Kenya for over two years.

In the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City Boit finished 64th in sprint race, leaving three competitors behind him. After the Salt Lake City Olympics Boit left competitive skiing again, but came back to participate in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin where he finished 92nd in the 15km Classical, ahead of 5 fellow competitors. Boit said in a 2006 interview that he plans to finish his career after 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver.

In 2007, he competed in World Ski Championships held in Sapporo, Japan, the same country where he started his Olympic career.

After graduating from Samwayi Secondary School, he was recruited to General Service Unit in 1992, where was able to enhance his athletics career. As an athlete, he was a bit behind top Kenyan runners. His 800 metres record is 1:46.06.

Philip's cousin Mike Boit won the bronze medal in the 800 meters at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

See also

* Lamine Guèye (skier)
* Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards
* Eric Moussambani
* Paula Barila Bolopa

Sources

*Washington Post column by Michael Wilbon Feb 11, 1998: [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/longterm/olympics1998/sport/nordic/articles/wilbon11.htm "Just Do It? Just Let Them Be"]
*Daily Nation, Feb 19, 2002: [http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/19022002/Sports/Sports24.html "Boit back in action today at Olympics"]
*Daily Nation Feb 10, 2006: [http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=5&newsid=66905 "Boit out for third spin on ice" ]
*FIS|S=CC|ID=5879
*iaaf name|id=20511
* [http://www.fifth-letter.com/strata/issue3/dialogue/shortint02.htm Kenya: It's Not Just for Runners Anymore]


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