In this GE sponsored "man about town" piece, Joseph Njata does a great set of street interviews with Rwandans, as they describe their favorite Olympic sport.
My Favorite Olympic Sport Is Boxing - Gistave Mugisha
"My love for this sport dates back in my childhood days. I can remember my obsession watching a wrestling program on television. I consider boxing as a form of self-defense, which means the guys in the ring are able to successfully protect themselves while outside the ring. I really admire the strong shoulders that characterize the boxers. On a personal level, boxing has helped my wife to be strong and still fit in her regular clothes. I really admire the player's confidence in this game"
My Favorite Olympic Sport Is Hockey - Belize Nishimwe
"I was first inspired to the love of the sport by my cousin who plays on the national team. His performances in the games that I have watched him play have blown me away. He does not just play, he leads his teammates on the offense with the ultimate goal of winning trophies. Hockey is characterized by skills and physical contact and that is exactly what makes the sport very exciting for me. The joy and euphoria that comes along with the victory gives me a special feeling that can only be explained by people who have experienced it"
My Favorite Olympic Sport Is Swimming - Alice Tuyizere
"I have been swimming for the last six years. Whenever I'm in the water, I get this special feeling of floating free of any worries or physical discomfort. The sport enables someone to relax and switch off from the rest of the world. It’s fun and social for the whole family – from babies to the senior members of our society. The sport gives the swimmer an opportunity to challenge himself/herself to fight through pain and emerge on the other side stronger and tougher. Most importantly, swimming skills can save someones life!"
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Tennis - Alice Akamazi
"I started playing tennis when I was in primary school. This sport involves meeting new people. A little later, you become part of a community filled with enthusiastic individuals who love the game. Physically, tennis is one of the most challenging sports. I would say that getting on the court and losing yourself in the game is a huge stress reliever. My favorite part about the game is the feeling you get after hitting that great shot. It fills you up with happiness, making you want to keep playing. The fire of competitiveness makes tennis great and fun too."
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Beach Volleyball - Esperance Uwimana
"I love this sport because it attracts great people. I think the people who spend a lot of time at the beach tend to be friendly and easy-going. Beach volleyball completes the equation. This sport helps create strong connections. This is because you win and lose with your partner, and also you grow with your partner. I love the fact that, you’ve got to pick your partner up when they’re down, and they also need to do the same for you. The players are passionate and they give their full effort for every point."
My Favorite Olympic Sport is the 100m Sprint -Damascene Nduwamungu
"I think it’s the only sport you can win a gold medal in the shortest time possible. The winners of this sport have on several occasions been referred to as the fastest people on the planet. That’s a huge milestone. Jamaican Usain Bolt is my favorite athlete of all time. One day my classmate was wondering why the Internet at the school library could not be as fast as Usain Bolt! By winning three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Bolt managed to set the bar very high. I can’t wait to see who will turn the tables on this man."
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Golf - Carine Uwizeye
I live near a golf course and that’s how I got acquainted with the sport. It’s fun to watch golfers using so much time to put a little white ball in a very little hole. Golf courses are expansive with great views, sound of the birds and the wind, which make golfing a great experience. I love the thrill of hitting a good shot after a trail of frustrating poor shots. Unlike other sports, you can still play golf at old age. The golfers are friendly to each other, which makes the sport a beautiful game. The game is not discriminative and it doesn’t matter if you are tall or strong, all body types can succeed. It’s the perfect blend of social event and exercise.
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Basketball - Uriho Seburezi Jean Felix
"I love this sport because both teams play with energy and only one wins. Unlike some other sports there is no draw in this game! This means I am assured of identifying the winner after every game. It’s a fun sport to watch and play because anyone can participate. When I’m playing basketball, I feel closer to my colleagues and this invigorates my inner peace. Basketball has made many famous role models in the world. Basketball to me is life, it’s an escape, an art, a passion; but mostly its love."
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Football - Rugamba Habimana
"My love for this sport can be traced way back to my childhood days. I used to be constantly at loggerheads with my parents who thought I was dedicating to much time to football at the expense of education. Whenever I would listen to the radio, I found myself hooked on football news and commentaries. The sport has a great influence especially in Africa where many young people follow the foreign leagues religiously. I particularly support Manchester United and I normally share their worries and successes the distance notwithstanding. Football has in the past been used to bring people from different backgrounds together. A good example is the 2010 world cup event that was held in South Africa. A strong bond was created among all African countries. I remember how patriotic we felt cheering the Black Stars of Ghana, yet we are Rwandan."
My Favorite Olympic Sport is Mountain Biking -Damascene Simubara
"When I was a small boy, my uncle made me a wooden bike locally known as gitogotogo. I would use it for transporting maize from the garden and for sports. That experience must have inspired my undying love for mountain biking. I come from Kinigi, a quiet hilly village in Northern Rwanda. Our locality is very commonly filled with mountain bikers who come to do their trainings. I also own an old mountain bike that helps me cut the transportation cost for my daily errands while at the same time helping me to keep fit. The fact that Rwanda will be sending two mountain bikers to the Rio Olympic this year makes me a very happy person. I will definitely be following the Olympics very closely."