‘The pressure became too much’ – David Rudisha on battle with alcoholism

Double Olympic Champion David Rudisha has opened up on coping with personal tragedy and battle with divorce and alcohol in his career.

During a candid interview with the BBC, Rudisha vowed he has put all his challenges behind and is firmly focused on a full recovery.

Local celebrities whose careers took a nose dive due to their battle with alcoholism

Rudisha took to alcohol to try and overcome the myriad of challenges that were heavily stacking up in his life including being off the track and parting with his wife Elizabeth Naanyu in 2016.

“The pressure became too hard. I used to hang out with friends and party a lot,” Rudisha told BBC.


Perhaps the most devastating and recent blow to the athlete came earlier this year in March when he lost his father, Daniel Rudisha, whom he described as his biggest source of inspiration in his career.

Local celebrities whose careers took a nose dive due to their battle with alcoholism

 He died two weeks ago from heart attack at Nakuru War Memorial Hospital. The elder Rudisha himself was a stellar athlete who represented Kenya at the highest level internationally.

The late Rudisha represented the country during the 1964 Commonwealth Games in 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica.

“He played a big role in my life. He gave me the passion to love the sport and taught me discipline and respect towards fellow athletes,” Rudisha said.

David Rudisha
David Rudisha and his dad

The Olympic champion said his father was his greatest strength and encouraged even when he failed – something which Rudisha says made him be the star he is today.

In 1968 alongside Hezekiah Nyamao, Charles Asati and the late Naftali Bon, Rudisha won silver in the 4×400 relay.

Daniel Rudisha’s greatest accolade came during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich where he won gold with Charles Asati, Hezekiah Nyamao, Robert Ouko and the late Julius Sang in the relay event.

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