Angolan Olympians Honoured by IOC President

6 | 6 | 2017

Olympians in Angola have been honoured by IOC President Thomas Bach on a recent visit to the country. Nadia Cruz, President of the Association of Olympic Athletes of Angola (AAOA), received a special award for her services to Olympians, while Vice-President of the AAOA Elisa Webba Torres & AAOA board member João Ntyamba also received honourable mentions.

President Bach’s visit included a tour of the offices of the Angolan Olympic Committee (COA) in the capital Luanda, where he met with COA President Gustavo da Conceição as well as government officials.

While there, Olympians had the opportunity to discuss with President Bach the opportunities sport and the Olympic Movement provide to youth in terms of social development, inclusion and peace in the region and the role Angolan Olympians have been playing to help drive participation and develop sport in Angola. 

Nadia Cruz, a four-time Olympic swimmer who competed in the 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, has been President of the Association of Olympic Athletes of Angola since 2009. She works to support Olympians in Angola through the NOA by providing advice and assistance on athlete welfare, career transition and post-athletic career opportunities. Cruz also encourages Olympians to give back by leading activities that allow her fellow athletes to serve society and drive sport and social development in the country.   

Elisa Webba Torres, a three-time Olympic Handball player, has been Vice President of AAOA since 2009. She also sits on the board of both the Angolan Olympic Committee and Petro de Luanda, one of Angola’s top sport clubs. While João Ntyamba, a six-time Olympic marathon runner who holds the record for the most Olympic appearances by an Angolan athlete, is an Honorary Member of the AOC.

“The visit of IOC President Thomas Bach to Angola can be seen as a sign of the importance President Bach places on the development of sport in Angola and in Africa”, said Nadia Cruz, President of the Association of Olympic Athletes of Angola. “I was proud to meet with President Bach and receive recognition for the work of the AAOA.

“Our Olympians are dedicated to supporting youth sport and developing the next generation of athletes so that Angola can continue to be recognised for its contribution to the wider Olympic Movement at the highest levels”, she added. “The AAOA is also committed to providing opportunities for Olympians in Angola to give back to society and spread the practice of Olympism.”

The Association of Olympic Athletes of Angola was founded in 2007 and currently includes 189 members from across 12 different sports.