BEIJING - Rwanda squad to the 29th Olympic Games which started over the weekend was hosted to a dinner by Ambassador Ben Rugangazi on Saturday night here in Beijing, China.
Addressing the athletes at his residence, Rugangazi urged athletes to show brilliance in their hunt for medals at the Games.
“Go and win medals. You are capable [of defeating] your opponents in these Games, so I urge you to believe in yourselves. I wish you good luck and success,” Rugangazi said.
Other members who attended the dinner included the Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza, National Olympics Committee (NOC) boss Ignace beraho, NOC Secretary General Freddy Somayire, Ferwafa and Fifa referee Celestin Ntagungira and a few other Rwandans living in Beijing as well as the entire Team Rwanda delegation.
Sports Minister Habineza urged the athletes to be focused on the task ahead, “I have always told sportsmen to improve on their performances if medals fail.”
“Now if you fail to win medals improve on your personal records,” a jovial Habineza told the participants who included marathoner Epiphanie Nyirabarame and the two swimmers, Pamela Girinbabazi and Jackson Niyomugabo.
Only athlete Dieudonne Disi was missing at the dinner as by that time, he had not yet arrived in camp. The 10.000m runner was expected to join the rest of his team mates last evening from his training camp in France.
2009 CAN to take a copy of Beijing Olympic Games
The ministry of Sports and Culture and the African Youth Championship local organising committee (COCAN) plan to take a leaf from the ongoing Beijing Olympic Games as they prepare to organise next year’s African U- 20 championship in Kigali.
Sports Minister Joseph Habineza revealed the plan over the weekend and noted that although Rwanda has limited resources, it will still copy some organisation features which BOCOG used to prepare the Beijing Olympics 2008.
“China has displayed an excellent organisation of the Games and some of the features will be exhibited in our own context back home during next year’s African youth championship.
“They have been facilitated with enough resources but features like security, infrastructure and some of the opening ceremony displays and performances will be worked upon to have a spectacular African tournament back in Rwanda,” Habineza noted.
A £40million extravaganza raised an awe-inspiring bamboo curtain on the Games. No expense was spared in the four-hour opening ceremony featuring 91,000 spectators, 15,000 performers and 10,000 athletes.
Security was immense at the £250million Bird’s Nest Stadium, as the crowd was joined by 80 royals and leaders including George Bush, Vladimir Putin, Princess Anne and Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell.