Democratic Republic of Congo Represented at London Olympics in Boxing and Judo


The United Nations has indicated that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has the highest prevalence of malnutrition in the world and yet fourteen amazing athletes in six different sports have beat the odds and are competing in the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

I wonder if Meji Mwanba feels the weight of his country on his broad shoulders – Mwanba weighs in at 91+kg (over 200 pounds) and 6’5”. Meji is is competing as a super heavy weight boxer and proudly representing his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Super heavy weight boxing competition has only 16 competitors in the Olympics and the Democratic Republic of Congo is proud to have one of them. The Super heavy weight competition begins August 1st and the finals are August 12th. Boxing is a single elimination sport and an extremely tough competition.

Cedric Mandembo from the Democratic Republic of Congo is competing in the Olympics for Judo and his country hopes that he has an opportunity to bring home a medal. Cedric placed 5th at the World Judo Championship in Brazil which has increased everyone’s interest in his ability to potentially medal at the London Olympics. Cedric competes in the Men’s 100+kg competition and matches begin on August 2nd.

When we listen to the amazing stories of overcoming hardships for our US athletes and others, I cannot help but want to include these two men. I cannot imagine the perseverance and commitment that it has taken for them to succeed. The Democratic Republic of Congo has only participated in eight Olympics and has never received a medal; may this year be the year that they are rewarded for their hard work, perseverance, and commitment.

As adoptive parents from the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is important that we celebrate our children’s heritage and their birth country’s successes. As our children see us celebrate, praise, and commend fellow Congolese it will build their own pride and confidence in themselves. They should be encouraged to be proud of their birth country and dream of their own future accomplishments. I will be cheering for the Democratic Republic of Congo and USA at the London Olympics. My adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo have built a bridge from my heart to theirs and I hope I can show this to my children in many ways.

Photo Credit: Radio Okapi

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MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.