Stephen Kiprotich (born 27 February 1989) is a Ugandan long-distance runner, born in Kapchorwa District. He made history this year by winning Uganda an Olymbpic Gold medal during the London marathon, with a winning time of 2:08:01 in hot, sunny, and humid conditions. This was the first Olympic medal for Uganda since 1996, the first gold medal since 1972, and the first ever in the marathon. Kiprotich will be a recipient of the Ugandan Diaspora Lifetime Achievement Award at this Year’s Social Networking Gala.
He is the youngest of seven children of subsistence farmers from Kapchorwa District, near the Uganda-Kenya border. As a child, he missed three years of elementary school due to an undiagnosed illness. From 2004 to 2006, he quit athletics to concentrate on school. Then, at the age of 17, he quit school and moved to the Eldoret region of Kenya, in the Rift Valley, to train for the marathon with Eliud Kipchoge. He was assisted by A Running Start, a non-profit foundation based in New York.
He ran a personal best in the marathon of 2:07:20 in 2011 at the Enschede Marathon in the Netherlands, which set a new course record for the Enschede Marathon and a new Ugandan record in athletics.He finished third in the 2012 Tokyo Marathon with a time of 2:07:50.
He was inspired in part by John Akii-Bua, the only previous Ugandan Olympic gold medalist, who won the 400 metres hurdles in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, setting a new world record in the process. He then went on to win the London 2012 Olympic Marathon, ahead of Kenyan runners Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich who finished second and third respectively.