My Olympics: Hamadou Djibo Issaka

'It is very strange to be famous'

Monday 13 August 2012 00:10

"I have loved every moment of the Olympics. I only took up rowing three months ago so my ambitions for London were modest. I gave of my very best on the rowing lake and the crowd were fantastic to me.

I loved the support that was given to me. The British are a generous people and it helped me in all of my three races.

It doesn't matter to them that you are not the winner, they give encouragement to us all.

It is very strange to think that I am famous, that my picture has gone all over the world and even that I am famous back in Niger, where I have never even rowed because I did all my training in Tunisia.

I love England. It is a beautiful country. I love your motorways and your markets and the people. I have been to Oxford and seen so many marvellous things. I will continue with my rowing. This is now my life. And I hope to be in Rio in four years' time, inshallah."

Hamadou, 35, is a Niger rower, aka The Sculling Sloth

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in