Ugandans celebrate first medal in 40 years

By

Published:

 

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- Uganda's only medal winner at the London Olympics cried tears of joy as he was welcomed home by hundreds of people delighted by the African country's first gold since the 1972 games in Munich.

Stephen Kiprotich's victory in the men's marathon race also was Uganda's first medal of any kind since the Atlanta Olympics 16 years ago.

Unknown to most Ugandans before he won in London, Kiprotich returned home a star on Wednesday. He was ushered through the V.I.P. lounge of the Entebbe International Airport and shadowed by politicians. Within hours of arriving he was whisked away for a "state breakfast" with Uganda's president.

Lawmakers are now considering a motion to declare Kiprotich a national hero and $100,000 has been collected so far in a fundraising campaign for his benefit.