Executives in Africa congratulate Chris Frome for his third Tour De France win. Africa once again demonstrates its reach beyond the continent.
As a keen cyclist myself, I follow the event closely around this time of the year. What is little known though, is that Chris was actually born in Nairobi in 1985 and competed for Kenya until 2008. Alas for Kenya, he had to move to Europe to further his career, a move which clearly paid off. In less than eight years he progressed from B team “also cycled” to now being the lead cyclist for Team SKY and has been on the front cover of every cyclist magazine on the planet.
Picture- By Denismenchov08 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Nicknamed ‘Froomy’, he was schooled in Nairobi and then Johannesburg where he eventually studied Economics.
He turned Pro at 22 and was spotted by the now Team SKY principal as being a cyclist to watch for the future, “The performance he did, on the equipment he was on, that takes some doing… We always thought he was a bit of a diamond in the rough, who had a huge potential”.
The rest is history or maybe more history to be made! At 31 years old he still has many more years ahead of him as many pro cyclists go on into their late 30’s, some even further than that. How long can he stave off the younger superstars coming through?
What would be really wonderful to see is if this sporting talent were to return to the continent at some point and inspire future generations to take up cycling, in the same way we, at Executives in Africa, see the Diaspora returning to take up key Leadership roles to build capability and talent in business.