Jacqueline Nytepi Kiplimo is not your average world-class Kenyan marathoner, nor your average elite athlete either. In the highest echelons of competition, whether it be sports, business, or politics, there is typically little to no mercy or compassion. In the pursuit of winning or achieving something, people often forget their humanity to instead reach their goals.
But Jacqueline Nytepi Kiplimo is a different kind of person. In 2010, as Jacqueline was running the Zhengkai International Marathon in China, she showed an extraordinary act of kindness and taught the world a valuable lesson about what strength really means.
Less than a quarter of the way through the race, Jacqueline spotted a fellow runner who had no arms beneath his elbows. While he was doing his best to complete the race, he was also struggling to keep hydrated during the grueling event.
Putting aside her ambitions for the glory and money typically associated with winning, Jacqueline selflessly stayed with the man for more than half the race. She encouraged him, looked after him, and helped him drink water along the way. When she was sure he was able to finish on his own, Jacqueline carried on alone to the finish line, ultimately ending up in second place.
Although she sacrificed a first place finish, Jacqueline Nytepi Kiplimo did something much more impressive. She gave the world a show of empathy and hope, and proved herself to be a wonderful human being. We would all do well to follow in her footsteps, even if we aren’t one of the best in the world at whatever we do.