Kenya were first represented by a team of 24 men and one woman at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games.
Although Kenyans have competed in 14 Olympic sports, more than half their Olympians have contested athletics events. They have a magnificent tradition in middle distance running and the steeplechase.
Their most successful Olympian is runner Kip KEINO. At the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games, he won gold in the 1500m, and in Munich in 1972 he won the 3,000m steeplechase. He also has two Olymoic silver medals to his name. He later became an IOC member in Kenya.
The 3,000m steeplechase has proved Kenya's most successful event. Kenyan runners have won the past six Olympic titles and taken silver at the past five Games.
In Barcelona in 1992, Kenya's Matthew BIRIR, Patrick SANG and William MUTWOL completed a clean sweep of the medals.
At Beijing 2008, Kenyan runners again enjoyed great success. Wilfred BUNGEI (men's 800m), Asbel KIPROP (men's 1500m), Brimin KIPRUTO (men's 3,000m steeplechase), Pamela JELIMO (women's 800m), and Nancy LANGAT (women's 1500m), all won on the track.
In addition, Samuel WANJIRU won the men's marathon.
Boxing is the only other sport in which Kenyans have won medals, the highlight being Robert WANGILA's gold in the welterweight division in Seoul in 1988.