Vancouver Ethiopian Blog

Ethiopian life in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ethiopian Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics: Meet Olympian Robel Teklemariam

Ethiopia’s Olympics history is astounding, to say the least. For decades, many Ethiopians have participated in the Olympics around the world and have made us all proud – these were all summer Olympics.

When it comes to the Winter Olympics, however, Ethiopia and many other African nations don’t actively participate due to lack of snow in the continent. For instance, there were a total of 9 African participants in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics from a total of 6 countries:

Click on the links above to learn more about the participants.

Most of these nine participants did not finish the games. But, they had fun. After all, it is the fun part that is great in sports and in the process, they entertained us.

Lack of snow and equipment did not stop one Ethiopian from participating in the 2006 Turin Winter Winter Olympic Games. Meet the one only – history maker – Robel Teklemariam. Robel completed the 2006 race at 83rd spot, out of 100 plus competitors. This is a great accomplishment!

Robel was born in Ethiopia in 1974, but moved to New York as a young boy with his family when his mother was assigned at the UN head office in New York city.

I am not sure the total number of Africans participating at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. But, I know that there is one more African, from Ghana. Inspired by Robel, a Ghanaian cross country skier, Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, will be representing his country for the first time at the 2010 games.

Robel is determined to make a difference for future generation Ethiopians. He hopes that he “won’t be the first and the last Ethiopian to make it to the winter Olympics”. It is my sincere hope that more and more Ethiopians will qualify for cross country skiing and other winter sports in the future.

Robel arrived in Vancouver last night (Feb. 11, 2010). A dedicated group of people from the Ethiopian Community of British Columbia (ECBC) went to the Vancouver International Airport to welcome him. The media was very excited to see the warmest welcoming event at the airport.

The welcoming event was photo captured …

One photo sample is pasted below. Robel is in the centre (Rasta, wearing a white shirt).

Vancouver’s two famous community leaders, Orion Mengistu (far left) and Kebede Hailemariam (at the right) are shown …

There are many pictures, just click on the link, found below this picture.

Click here to view a collection of the welcoming event at the airport.

Let us raise our flag and cheer for Robel on the day he takes on the mountains of BC. Yes, I will be cheering for him!

The Ethiopian community is planning to throw a party for Robel towards the end of the month. I encourage all to come out and meet Robel, who is a true role model. Perhaps, Ethiopian-Canadian kids will take on the winter Olympics sports and be able to represent Ethiopia in future games.

More importantly, I hope that local Ethiopian parents will take their kids to the mountains to allow their kids learn skiing. Some of us have lived here for 10, 20 or 30 years, but never ventured into the North Shore mountains, where one could easily learn how to ski. Let us change this – Soccer is not the only sport!

Here is a short announcement from the Vancouver Ethiopian Community:

Robel Teklemariam landed in Vancouver airport (YVR) today Feb 10 -2010 @ 9:00 pm to a hero’s welcome as many greeted him at the airport waving the Ethiopian flag. It was such an exciting moment, the media was all over him, fans were taking picture and he was signing autographs. What a humble guy!

Vancouver Ethiopian community will celebrate a fun-filled family event to recognize the dedication and hard work of Robel Teklemariam in representing his country as a sole competitor. It is also to inspire children and youth of Ethiopian origin that live in Vancouver to pursue their dreams as Robel did.

This event will take place on February 27th from 3:30-7:00 p.m. at Collingwood Neighbourhood House
located on 5288 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC V5R 4G8.

Google Map

Related Posts:



Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Related Videos:


Training in Ethiopia

The Guardian


My next blog entry will be on Thursday February 18, 2010.

Mullkam Samint!


February 11, 2010 - Posted by | Ethiopian Adoptions, Ethiopian Alphabet, Ethiopian Businesses, Ethiopian Calendar, Ethiopian Careers, Ethiopian Citizenship, Ethiopian Culture, Ethiopian Dating, Ethiopian Education, Ethiopian Food, Ethiopian History, Ethiopian Holidays, Ethiopian Investments, Ethiopian Languages, Ethiopian Media, Ethiopian Music, Ethiopian Parenting, Ethiopian Politics, Ethiopian Professors, Ethiopian Proverbs, Ethiopian Relationships, Ethiopian Religions, Ethiopian Restaurants, Ethiopian Socials, Ethiopian Sports, Ethiopians & Technology, Ethiopians and Drugs, Ethiopians Back Home, Ethiopians in Vancouver | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The involvement of African nations in sports in past many years has increased. Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe play cricket on the international level. South Africa has been the major participant in sports. But Ethiopia also have some enthusiasts who will surely get involvd in Olympics.
    Airport Ethiopia

    Comment by Parag | April 8, 2010 | Reply

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