BEIJING - The Rwandan delegation to the Beijing Olympic Games held the first flag-raising ceremony at the Olympic Village yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) as the village officially opened to athletes’ moments earlier.
The ceremony for the Rwandan delegation began with the national flag being raised followed by the national anthem.
At the flag raising ceremony, the Olympic village Executive Mayor, Chen Hong said, “Welcome to Beijing Games home. I wish you a nice stay and urge you to enjoy the friendly life of China.”
Hong said the Olympics provide great opportunities for communication between athletes around the world.
Representing the Olympic Village, Hong gave a present to the Rwanda Chief de Mission Thierry Ntwali for being the first to entering the village.
On behalf of the Rwandan delegation, Ntwali also presented a gift to the mayor’s representative.
At the ceremony also attracted delegations from Cuba, Haiti Guyana, Kuwait and Cape Verde.
Rwandan ambassador to China Ben Rugangazi together with other Rwandans living in Beijing attended the ceremony.
Rugangazi later visited Rwanda team at their residential fully equipped apartment based inside the Olympic village.
“We should not be lagging behind every time Rwanda takes part in an international tournament. This is time to exhibit your talents,” Rugangazi told the Rwandan participants.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Culture and Sports Joseph Habineza arrived in Beijing yesterday night.
He was also welcomed by RNOC president, Ignace Beraho, Secretary General Freddy Somayire, ambassador Rugangazi and Ntwali.
Rwanda sent a 15-man delegation that included four athletes, compared to the hosts’ 1,099 delegation that includes 639 athletes, its largest ever for the Olympic Games.