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Five highs from the 2012 mountain bike Olympics

  • By Emily Zinn
  • Published Aug. 29, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM EDT
Adrien Niyonshuti's story of survival and representing the best of his country to the world reminded fans of the stories that make the Olympics great. AFP Photo

2. High: Adrien Niyonshuti proudly represents Rwanda

As someone who lost six siblings in the Rwandan genocide, Adrien Niyonshuti is no stranger to struggle.

His Olympic bid was full of hope and inspiration, though, as he fought to change the view of his recovering nation in the international consciousness.

“The first thing people think of at the moment is the genocide, but that was 18 years ago. I want people to concentrate on the positive aspects of my country.”

He did not meet his goal of finishing in the top 20, but the 39th-place finisher was met with audience enthusiasm that rivaled the applause for some of the top finishers as he crossed the finish line.

Clearly, he accomplished his goal to be a positive ambassador for Rwanda.

Genocide survivor to carry Rwandan flag >>

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FILED UNDER: Cross Country / MTB / News TAGS: / / / / /

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn

Emily Zinn spent her infancy in the back of a women's team van while the team built wheels around her. She spent part of her pre-teen years in Europe following the major European mountain, road and gravity races and touring cycling product factories. College was the first time she lived in a home without a frame building shop in her garage or basement. Her favorite style of riding is getting lost in singletrack trail networks and taking her time finding her way back.

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