Best Practice

Four Days to Go to Olympic Day: US and Rwandan Olympians join together to promote gender equality for Olympic Day

19 | 6 | 2017

Olympians from Rwanda and the United States of America have joined Kids Play International and former NFL stars to help celebrate gender equality for Olympic Day 2017.

Funded by an International Sports Programming Initiative grant from the USA Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs , USA and Rwandan athletes will work with Kids Play International for a week of Olympic sporting activities in Rwanda that promote gender equality and Olympic values. 

Olympians from both countries will unite under the theme “Fair Play in Every Way”, and events will take place in the capital city of Kigali as well as at Kids Play International’s programme site in rural Gatagara.

Rwandan Olympians Salome Niyarukundo (10,000 metres, Rio 2016), Epiphanie Niyabarame (Marathon, Athens 2004 & Beijing 2008), and Nathan Byukusenge (Cycling, Rio 2016) joined national road cyclist Jeanne D’Arc Girubuntu and Rwandan cricket captain Eric Dusingizimana in leading the festivities and showcasing Rwanda’s Olympic Day initiatives to the USA athletes.

US Olympians Ibtihaj Muhammad (Fencing, Rio 2016), Nick Goepper (Freeskiing, Sochi 2014), Faye Gulini (Snowboarding, Vancouver 2010 & Sochi 2014) and Cameron Myler (Luge, Calgary 1988, Albertville 1992, Lillehammer 1994 & Nagano 1998), joined former NFL stars Jerry Attaochu, Jerious Norwood and Marcus Roberson, as well as Kids Play International founder and Olympic freestyle skier Tracy Evans (Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998 & Salt Lake City 2002) joined local stars to take part in the celebrations and sports clinics.

Tracy Evans, who is also heading up the initiative, said:

“It is inspiring to see Olympians from these two, very different countries come together to support each other in the name of Olympism. Olympic Day has the power to drive real change around the world, and we are seeing that happen through this initiative.

“The next generation of Rwandan Olympians will remember these events for years to come, and will be inspired to achieve more than they ever thought possible. It’s a wonderful experience.”

All events are being organised in partnership with the Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC).

The full run-down of events includes:

  • 23 June: Kick off of “Fair Play in Every Way” Olympic Week events with Sports Day at Stade Regional  Stadium in Kigali, Rwanda: Press Conference followed by Friendly Soccer Games
  • 24 June: Olympian Community Project Day at KPI’s programme site in Gatagara
  • 25 June: 2017 “Fair Play in Every Way” Olympic Day Celebration from 11am- 3pm in Gatagara
  • 26 June: U.S. Olympian School Visit and KPI’s Let’s Play Fair programme sports clinic in Gatagara
  • 27 June: Coffee and Conversation at USA Ambassador’s Residence in Kigali, Rwanda.

Rio 2016 Olympic fencing bronze medallist, Ibtihaj Muhammad, said:

“I am excited to travel to Rwanda to take part in Kids Play International’s Olympic Week activities.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to inspire Rwandan youth through the power of sport.”

Olympic Day is celebrated around the world on June 23 and is a day for people of all ages and abilities to come together to get active, celebrate the Olympic Values and discover new sports. 

The WOA would like to share your NOA’s inspirational Olympic Day stories, events and pictures on our digital and social platforms so please let us know about any planned Olympic Day activities by contacting: