Far From Home: Uganda’s First Olympic Snowboarder

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Uganda’s Brolin Mawejje, plans to make history at the 2018 winter Olympics as the first to compete as a snowboarder from his country.

Born in the Makindye District of Kampala, Uganda, Brolin held little hope for his future. He watched as his family struggled to secure their educations, jobs, and a chance for a better life. At two years old, his mother left the family indefinitely. Brolin was shaken to the core when she reappeared at age 11, arranging his emigration to the USA to join her in Boston’s suburbia.

Arriving on a freezing New England night, Brolin was stricken by fear of the unknown. As the only African in his school, he was ostracized and bullied by his American counterparts. But the course of his life would change forever when he joined an after school ski & snowboard program. He discovered a new world. A world where color and background did not matter. A world where the present moment was all that existed. Combined with a drive to excel in his studies, Brolin found a family on the slopes that helped him to trust the world for the first time.

The Ugandan National Olympic Committee has been very supportive of his ambitions. They must now become his official federation and register through FIS so that he can officially ride under the Ugandan flag. Brolin has already talked to FIS so that all his points will transfer over to Uganda. He has also created a four-year competition and training program with the Park City Snowboard Team that outlines his path to 2018. He says he will focus on snowboarding for the next four years and then go to medical school after the 2018 Olympics.

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