Did you know…
Aristide Sawadogo plays in the NBA Development League. He was born on December 28, 1981 in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. Aristide studied at Lycee Philipe Zinda Kabore in Burkina. His idol is Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Upper Volta competed at the Summer Olympic Games in 1972. It became Burkina Faso in 1984 and has since competed under that name in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008.
The two most popular sports in Burkina Faso -also known simply as “Burkina”- are football and athletics.
The National Olympic Committee was founded in 1965.
The 21st African Cup of Nations was held in Ouagadougou in 1998.
Burkina -it is about the size of the United Kingdom, New Jersey and Delaware combined- sent 4 sportspeople to the 1992 Olympics in Spain. It competed in athletics (3) and judo (1).
Many sports websites confused the name of Burkina Faso -an ex French colony in Africa – with the name of Burundi. For example: the website of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), one of the largest sports organizations in the world.
Burkina Faso won the bronze medal at the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. Burkina Faso, led by Paul Gorogo, beat Argentina 2-0 to capture the bronze medal. The children received a heroes’ welcome when they returned to Burkina Faso, one of the world’s seven poorest nations.The medalists were: Abdoul Kontougomde, Lassana Kanoute, Hamidou Kere, Zerephin Sore, Ousmane Dabre, Jeannot Bouyain, Amadou Coulibaly, Saidou Pahandetiquiri, Henock Conombo, Abdoul Aziz Nikiema, Wilfried Sanou, Abdoulaye Ouedraogo, Boureima Ouattara, Karim Bamba, Oumarou Ouedraogo, Wally Said Korabou, Paul Gorogo, Aboubacar Fofana.
The Burkinabe Olympic Committee sent six athletes to the Olympic Games in the People’s Republic of China. They were: Elisabeth Nikiema (swimming/ 50m freestyle), Idrissa Sanou (athletics/ 100m), Aissata Soulama (track and field/ 400m hurdles), Julien Ouedraogo (fencing/ individual sabre), Hanatou Ouelgo (judo/ 48 kg), Rene Yougbare (aquatics/ 50m freestyle). Ironically, Burkina Faso does not have diplomatic relations with Beijing.
Burkina won two medals at the 1st Pan African Games in 1965.
This African country finished in 10th place at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Auckland (New Zealand). Burkina Faso won the silver medal at the 1999 FIFA U-17 African Championship. The players were Daouda Diakite, Lamine Traore, Jose Yameogo, Aboubacar Sanou, Soumaila Tassambedo, Charles Pafadnam, Patrick Zoundi, Bourema Maiga, Tanguy Barro, Moussa Kabore, Djibril Campaore, Siaka Sanou, Ibrahim Kabore, Issaka Ouedraogo, Ousseni Zongo, Alhassan Gambo, Gaston Rouamba, Jean Kabore.
Like Kenya and Ghana, Upper Volta boycotted the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1980.
Olivier Sanou won the gold medal in the triple jump at the 2002 African Championships in Tunisia. He was the first athlete from Burkina Faso to win an international gold medal.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Gaston Roumba was one of the best young players in Burkina. He once said: “My family lives in Ouagadougou, but I’ve stayed at the Centre for three years, since it was established. We’ve played a lot of games to get this far. Our biggest success so far was to qualify for the youth competition in France during the World Cup. We won a tough game against Mali, winning on penalties after a 0-0 draw. The atmosphere in France was amazing, with supporters from all over the world. I was so happy to be a footballer. I saw five matches, supporting Nigeria. They were unlucky not to go through”.
One of the most remarkable athletes is Aissata Soulama (track & field). This sportswoman finished in 11th place in the 400m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She was the flag-bearer for her country at the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.
Burkina Faso competed at the Francophone Games in 1994.
Like Laos and Myanmar, Burkina has never won an Olympic medal.
This African country qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates. The team finished in 14th place.