Suriname’s Olympic swimmer hopes to become a beacon for his country

Americas Now

The Olympic torch has begun its journey from Greece to Brazil. Athletes all over the world are preparing hard for the Summer Games and not just the obvious nations.

CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs found an Olympic hopeful in the smallest country in South America.

The countdown has begun for Renzo Tjon A Joe Olympic journey as he represents Suriname.

Suriname, a South American nation with a population of 580,000, has no Olympic standard swimming pools.

Being an Olympic athlete in a country as small as Suriname means you soon become very well known. Renzo said he takes that responsibility seriously.

“We have a lot of role models in Suriname, but most of them become myths because they never come back. It is truly important for kids at these children’s homes for them to constantly see your face and for me to remind them that there are people that have come from where they are and have succeeded on a world level, as a guy like myself,” he said.

In Renzo’s case, it’s true about Olympic athletes that they carry the hopes of a nation with them.