The Story Behind That Viral Kenya High School High Jump Video:How It Went Viral [VIDEO]

This is video of a high school high jump competition in Kenya.  Just amazing, both the athleticism, and the video. The competition took place in the town of Mosoriot in Kenya.

Kenyan High School High Jump

By now, you’ve probably seen the incredible YouTube footage from a track and field meet in Kenya. To the backdrop of bouncy music, two contestants — one of them barefoot — take turns gaining momentum before clearing an impossibly tall high jump bar then landing without mats in front of a cheering crowd.

In the aptly-titled “Kenyan High School High Jump,” the combination of athleticism, unglamorous surroundings and mystery is pretty awe-inspiring. The video has garnered more than 2 million views in eight days online and been featured on sports and news sites worldwide. Here’s how it reached your computer screen.

Michael Stewart spent the first three months of this year working in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley for a Canadian NGO called Run for Life, which primarily uses running to promote education and job skills at schools around the world. It was during that time that he shot the high jump video while attending a track meet outside the town of Mosoriot. But he didn’t expect it to go viral; his most-viewed video has second most-watched YouTube video has accrued just over 1,100 views.

While “Kenyan High School High Jump” has blown minds around the web, Stewart said it didn’t stand out from much of what he saw in Kenya — despite the fact that these athletes land on their feet after clearing a bar he said was raised to just over six feet.

“This is pretty standard stuff for this race, ” Stewart toldMashable in an email. “Many of the runners ran insane times at this high school meet as well.”

That’s likely because many of the world’s greatest track athletes come from the Great Rift Valley — and, more specifically, the Kalenjin tribe that Stewart lived with. The Kalenjin tribe is known for producing world-class distance runners. As the only white person in town for much of his time in Kenya, Stewart wrote in his email to Mashable, he had a firsthand look at the origins of that success.

“The guys who train here are serious,” he wrote. “They run every day, excluding Sundays. They start with a 6 a.m. run, and often do a workout at 10 a.m. followed by a third run at 5 p.m.”

Now, Stewart hopes the surprising success of his video from the Kenyan high school can help raise money and support for athletes like the ones who star in the clip. To learn more about how you can help, check out Stewart’s Facebook page or the Run for Life website.

The Full song featured in the jump below

Young Man – Mr. Israel – Kalenjin Song




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