Zimbabwe: Kirsty Coventry, first black Zimbabwean in Olympics


Kirsty Coventry has become the first Zimbabwean black swimmer to represent the southern African country in an Olympic Games, the country’s sports ministry has reported.


The 17-year-old young woman participating in this year’s Games in Japan qualified after winning the African youth title by becoming the first African athlete to create an outstanding record.

She told Africanews.com that she is very happy to represent her country in the ongoing Olympic Games as the first black swimmer from her country.


“It’s becoming normal for me in Zimbabwe,” said Coventry. “I feel like we swim in very different environments because there are not many people of color that swim in America. In Zimbabwe, the majority of people that swim at the moment are people of color. I guess her (Manuel’s) story would be very different from mine.”


She has joined the list of three black swimmers to participate in an Olympic Games and said she is confident that she will win a medal in Tokyo despite expressing some challenges being faced in Tokyo as a black swimmer.


Kathy Lobb, Kirsty Coventry’s coach said the athlete is a good swimmer and is confident that she will have an outstanding performance in Tokyo.

“It’s every coach’s dream to have a swimmer coming through and taking them to the Olympics,” the coach told Africannews.com. 


In the 2000 Olympics,  Eric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea became the first African swimmer to participate in Olympic Games but staged an outstandingly poor performance.


Though facing serious economic challenges due to the deadly Covid-19 virus, the country is hopeful that Coventry would make them proud in Tokyo’s 2021.

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