3 Botswana stars compete at the Argentina Youth Olympics Games

Olerato Keegope from Buenos Aires in Argentina

Team Botswana has joined 206 other nations at the coveted Youth Olympics Games taking place at Buenos Aires, Argentina. The games got underway on October 6 and are expected to end on October 18th. Team Botswana, which arrived in Argentina last week Thursday ahead of the opening ceremony on Sunday, has only three athletes who are expected to carry the hopes of the nation in anticipation of any medal berth.

The athletes; James Freeman (swimming), Bernard Olesitse (athletics) and Ruvarashe Gondo (swimming) all arrived at the games’ village accompanied by team officials led by Tlamelo Dube (chef de mission), Olerato Keegope (International Olympics Committee Young Change Maker), Onalenna Kenosi (physiotherapist), Kago Tladinyana (athletics coach), Rocco Meiring (swimming coach) and Modise Mgahla (Botswana National Olympics Committe).

“The 2018 Summer Youth Olympics are an elite sporting event for youth athletes aged between 15 -18 hosted by the international Olympics Committee.” Speaking from the games’ village in Argentina, Dube said they had to send a small team after most of our athletes failed to qualify on time for the games.

Tlamelo Dube (chef de mission)

“Our team is small because of the qualifying criterion that the games required during the time of qualifications. Our two athletes, Bernard and James long qualified by winning and meeting the qualifying target set by the games whilst Ruvarashe came in as a qualifier of universal sport.”

Quizzed if they fancy any chances of the team clinching the medals at the games, Dube said it is too early to put pressure on the youthful athletes as the games act as an expose for them to understand all international expectations.

“We are hopeful they will all do better. However, this is all but albeit a triumph for them as a young athletes. They are competing on an international platform, it is tight – they are against the world’s best. They have competed in other international competition and have all managed to beat their personal times and it’s noticeable and acknowledgeable. This shows growth on their part and as thus has allowed them to be exposed to the best of the best around the world.”

Team Profiles

James Freeman

PERSONAL BEST ACHIEVEMENTS: * swimming 2 A standard Youth Olympic 2018 qualifying times in 200m & 800m at SA Junior Nationals

* 5 gold, 2 silver & 3 bronze at SA Junior Nationals 2018

* medaling at SA senior Aquatic Nationals 2018

*Swimming an A standard Youth Olympic 2018 qualification time in 400m Freestyle – at Commonwealth Youth Games, Nassau

* Bronze medal for 1500m freestyle at Commonwealth Youth Games – 2017

* Swimming a qualification time in the 1500m for Fina World Junior Champs at SA national Junior Champs – 2017

* 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze medal at SA Junior Nationals – 2017

* Silver medal at African Junior Championships. Cairo – 2015

* medaling & setting records at Africa Youth Games – Algiers, Algeria




Bernard Taolo Olesitse


27 Jul 18 Algiers 2018 – Africa Youth Games

(Men’s 400m)

ALG 2 47.00
26 May 18 Botswana National Champs U20

(Men’s 400m)

BOT 4 49.88
05 May 18 International School Sports Federation

(Men’s 400m)

MAR 1 47.54
21 Jul 17 Bahamas 2017- Commonwealth Youth Games

(Men’s 400m)

Bahamas 4 48.87
16 Jul 18 World Youth Championships – 2017 Kenya 8th ,SM 50.54



2017 Botswana’s Junior Sports person of the year

Qualified for the World Youth Championships 2018

Qualified for Youth Olympic Games 2018

Ruvarashe Gondo

She highlights that he is also a National Sports Champ having represented Botswana at the CANA – (Confederation Africaine de Natation Amateur) Zone 3 and 4 African Championships in Zimbabwe, Malawi in 2016 and 2017 respectively

She started representing Botswana in 2016.

She’s been Sportswoman of the Year from Form 1, Swimmer of the Year since she was 11, she swims for a club called Kubu


Human rights advocate, Olerato Keegope (25) will accompany Team Botswana as IOC Young Change Maker


Share this article

Botswana Unplugged

BOTSWANA UNPLUGGED is an exclusive online news and lifestyle magazine created for upwardly mobile citizens with distinguished tastes.

Related posts

Join The Conversation


About BotswanaUnplugged

BOTSWANAUNPLUGGED is an exclusive online news and lifestyle magazine created for upwardly mobile citizens with distinguished tastes. Based in Gaborone, Botswana; UNPLUGGED is a quintessential online news and lifestyle medium (platform) which strives to speak to the soul of the country’s upscale lifestyle by setting its sights on the passion that permeates our region.

Additional information