Rwandan Cyclist to Compete in London 2012 Olympics


Originally by Errol Barnett, CNN

Eighteen years after the genocide of the Tutsis that took an estimated 800,000 lives, Rwanda’s national cycling team is gaining international recognition. The team’s members are all survivors of the genocide. Among the Team is Adrien Niyonshuti who will be representing Team Rwanda at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

American Tour de France winner Jonathan “Jock” Bayer came to Rwanda to coach Team Rwanda after witnessing promising talent at the 2006 Wooden Bike Classic held in Rwanda. The classic was named this after the wooden bikes native to Rwanda used to transport crops from farm to farm. These bikes have been banned on the main roads because of their difficulty to maneuver and stop.

The team’s success has had a positive impact on Rwanda’s citizens. Their success has helped to “change lingering perceptions of Rwanda as a broken, dangerous and impoverished place…it’s also helping to change how Rwandans view themselves.”

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