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Rio 2016: Meet these die-hard SA fans

2016-08-10 10:27
Charl Botha (Lloyd Burnard)

Rio de Janeiro - A walk through the Olympic Park at Rio 2016 exposes a person to the world in a matter of minutes. 

The USA (other than Brazil, of course) perhaps dominates the crowds, but there are flags from everywhere draped over shoulders and hoisted high into the air. 

The fact that this event puts the world together in one place for two weeks is a big part of what makes it so special. 

We had to look long and hard, but eventually we found them: a group of South African supporters who had made the great trek across the Atlantic Ocean to support their men and women. 

They come from all over the country, but they have found each other now to unite in the common cause that is backing Team South Africa.

"We've been planning since January and this is our first time at the Olympics. It was a bucket list item, definitely, and I think I'll be going to Tokyo in 2020 as well," said Charl Botha from Pretoria.

"We stay in Ipanema beach. There are quite a few of us (South Africans) there.

"We went to the opening ceremony, we went to the hockey on Sunday evening. We watched Germany thrashing Canada and now we're here to support Chad (Le Clos)."

Botha and his mate William Carter, also from Pretoria, have been soaking it all in.

"It's been about the beach vibe, beers, Caipirinhas of course and just sight-seeing. We went to Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain ... it's been incredible," Botha added.

While many of the visiting spectators have been concerned with crime and safety on the streets of Rio, Botha and Carter say they have felt safe throughout their trip so far. 

Lloyd Burnard is Sport24's correspondent in Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the 2016 Olympics ...

From left: Buhle Langa, Ordelia Jooste, William Carter, Leonard Coakley and Charl Botha are in Rio supporting Team South Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games. (Photo: Lloyd Burnard)

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