Kenya – Last Wednesday, mourners and family members of dead Olympian Agnes Tirop gathered in Iten, western Kenya, for her funeral. The family of the 25-year-old Olympian who was found dead at her home in Iten on October 13 believes they have lost an asset, just like the athletics committee.
“My daughter adored her parents; she was such a sweet girl who was always calm. She enjoyed sports and was a great help to us with finances and other problems. Agnes was stabbed in the neck and beaten in the head with a blunt object, according to an autopsy report by government pathologist Dr. Dorothy Njeru, which was observed by a forensic physician at the Iten County Referral Hospital.
Agnes’ husband has been listed as a significant suspect in the case and is being held by Kenyan authorities. The death of the 25-year-old running sensation has brought up the subject of the expectations that female athletes endure in a male-dominated culture. Marathon legend Mary Keitany spoke to AFP a few days after her teammate died. One athlete says, “Women athletes carry the load of the entire family.”
Keitany’s career introduced her to a number of young athletes, including Tirop, who have spent years managing their hard professional lives with social expectations around marriage and childbirth, as well as serving as the primary income for vast extended families. It’s unclear whether any of these factors played a role in Tirop’s death. Agnes had frequent quarrels with her husband, according to friends of the Olympic 5,000m athlete.
Many people who have been devoted to sports since childhood lack the requisite financial education, according to the four-time New York marathon champion, putting them at risk of being used as “cash cows” by greedy husbands. “They realize their investment isn’t in their hands when it’s too late, and they become depressed,” said the newly retired mother of two.
Many Kenyan athletes, like Tirop, who was born from a peasant family in the Rift Valley, regard sporting achievement as their only ticket out of poverty and begin their careers in unregulated and known hotbeds of sexual misconduct. Tegla Loroupe, a former world marathon record holder, told AFP, “There are so many wolves out there waiting to prey on young ladies.” Agents allegedly pay off families to persuade them to “push the girls to drop out of school early and compete in international races,” according to her.