It’s never too late to chase your dreams – Chidzivo

Interestingly Chidzivo’s dream as a young girl was to grow up and become a doctor so that she can look after her mother and also make her proud.


TWO weeks ago Zimbabwe’s female long-distance runner Fortunate Chidzivo coasted to the biggest victory of her career after she won the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa.

Chidzivo, competing Retail Capital Langa colours overcame sickness on the eve of the event to outduel Ethiopia’s Kore Tamiru Gelaye for the first position.

It was a sweet victory for the 35-year-old Chitungwiza-born athlete, who only decided to pursue long distance running when she was 25 years of age.

Interestingly Chidzivo’s dream as a young girl was to grow up and become a doctor so that she can look after her mother and also make her proud.

However, a difficult upbringing made it difficult for her to pursue her academics and because she was athletic she ended up trying her hand at boxing and bodybuilding when she was 21

And then at 25 she decided to try her hand at long distance running.

“My message to everyone out there is that it’s never too late to find what you love and be successful at it.  I started boxing and also bodybuilding when I was 21 and only switched to athletics when I was 25 and here I am,” she told The Sports Hub.

“Growing up I never thought I would become an athlete because it was my wish to become a medical doctor, but my upbringing was not easy and it was always hard to get school fees.

“My mother tried her best to send us to school and because I have always wanted to make her proud I decided that I will still achieve that as an athlete. And that is what motivates me in my career as an athlete,” Chidzivo said.

One of the top female long distance runners in the country, Chidzivo represented the country at the World Championship in 2017 as well as the 2019 African Games held in Rabat, Morocco.

Chidzivo set a new national record of one hour 10 minutes, 50 seconds (1, 10:50) despite finishing 27th at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland in 2020 and has broken a few other records in her career.

She admits that it has not been an easy journey for her.

“I was a boxer before I became a long distance runner. I just switched to running and in 2017 I took part at the World Championships.

“However, my career took a dip in 2018 until I found a new coach in 2019 and since then it has been a fairy-tale for me. I have broken a number of records including the half marathon national record and now I am targeting the marathon record,” Chidzivo revealed.

Chidzivo celebrated her Two Oceans Half Marathon victory.

“I am very happy with the win and I can safely say it is the biggest of my career. It always feels wonderful when you win because it means you are reaping the rewards of the hard work that you put in as an athlete. I made myself very proud.

“But looking at the amount of preparation that me and my team put in and also looking at the times I was doing in practice as well as the start list, I have to say I was confident of winning going into the race.

“But ultimately I thank God because I put in the work and He is the one who made it happen for me since there are many other factors beyond our control as human beings,” she said.

The dream for Chidzivo now is to make the next Olympic Games, which are scheduled for France in 2022.

And last week, Chidzivo received a major boost towards her Olympic dream after she was awarded the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship along with nine other Zimbabwe athletes by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.

“My ultimate dream is to race at the Olympics and at the moment I am eyeing Paris 2024. I am very grateful for the scholarship that I got from ZOC because it has increased my chances of making it to the Olympics.

“The last time I missed out on qualification to the Olympics by seven minutes and with this scholarship I am able to adequately prepare and compete at some of the top races in the world. If I had a 50% chance of making the Olympics I think my chances have increased to 80% barring any unforeseen circumstances,” she said.

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