2396-Henry Kirwa photo

Henry Kirwa



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
T13, F13

Further personal information


Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up the sport in 1997.
Why this sport?
He followed his brothers into the sport.

General interest

Most influential person in career
Coach Ruth Chumo. (Athlete, 08 Sep 2016)
Hero / Idol
Kenyan distance runners Paul Tergat and Kipchoge Keino. (Athlete, 08 Sep 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Disability is not inability." (, 11 Aug 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named Para Sportsman of the Year at the Kenyan Sport Personality of the Year Awards in 2008, 2012 and 2016. (, 24 Nov 2020)

He was Kenya's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 06 Sep 2016)

He was named the 2009 United Nations in Kenya Person of the Year. (, 26 Oct 2009)
Famous relatives
His older brother Paul Kibii Tergat was a world record holder in marathon. His mother Christine Cheruiyot was a national-level athlete. His father represented the Kenyan military in shooting. (, 24 Nov 2020; Athlete, 08 Sep 2016;, 11 Aug 2017)
He was born with degenerative eye problems. By sixth grade he was not able to see well enough to read to continue his education. (, 11 Aug 2017)
Other information
He will retire from track events after the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo and concentrate on the marathon. "The Tokyo Games will mark the end of my Paralympic career, but I am not done yet. I shall compete in marathon after the Tokyo Games. I'm no more a young man, I'm now 47. All sports people face this grim reality some time or the other. As years advance, focusing on one event would be good. I have chosen the marathon. I will be able to concentrate on building my endurance and stamina, a key need for marathon running." (, 24 Nov 2020)

In 2009 he was appointed as a UN Development Programme [UNDP] advocate. The scheme is designed to encourage governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. "I want to thank UNDP for this initiative because it's high time we recognised people with disabilities because they are also human." In 2015 he was named an East Africa Community Ambassador in recognition of his philanthropic work operating alongside his 'Henry Kiprono Kirwa Foundation' that supports people living with impairments in Kenya and East Africa. (, 24 Nov 2020;, 30 Mar 2015;, 15 Oct 2009)

After winning three medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing he donated 50 percent of his financial reward from the Kenyan government to his community. "I grew up in a poor family. I could never afford the education I wished. This motivated me to help 15 families having people with disabilities. I bought them a cow each to help ease their financial burden.” (, 24 Nov 2020)


Unit Date Rank
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T13 Heat 1 1
Men's 1500 m T13 Final Round 1
Men's 5000 m T13 Heat 1 1
Men's 5000 m T13 Final Round 1
Men's 10000 m T12 Final Round 1
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T12 Heat 2 2011-01-24 1
Men's 4x100 m T11-13 Heat 2 2011-01-24 9999
Men's 1500 m T12 Final 2011-01-26 2
Men's 5000 m T12 Final 2011-01-27 2
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T13 Heat 1 2012-09-02 2
Men's 5000 m T12 Final Round 2012-09-03 3
Men's 1500 m T13 Final Round 2012-09-04 5
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 5000 m T12 Final 1 2013-07-20 9999
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 1500 m T13 Final Round 2016-09-11 3
Men's 5000 m T13 Final Round 2016-09-15 1
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 5000 m T13 Final 1 2017-07-16 9999