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Chukuru makes his point a year out from Rio 2016
- Updated: August 5, 2015
By Megan Hart
Team South Africa’s lovable mascot, Chukuru the rhino, took to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon to spread the word that just one year remains until the 2016 Olympic Games kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Chukuru was immediately greeted by a crowd of children who lined up for hugs and photos. Locals and visitors alike were excited to see him, and to hear that the Rio Olympics are so quickly approaching.
‘I’m very excited for the Olympics,’ said Fred Ineh, a fashion consultant from Cape Town, who grinned as he posed for a picture with Chukuru. ‘My dream is to have the Olympics come to South Africa, but for now Brazil is the place and we’re going to support Team SA.’
Ineh, 37, said his favorite Olympic sports are soccer, boxing and swimming. ‘We always have great swimmers,’ he added.
Chukuru handed out festive gold and green wrapped chocolates as he walked around the waterfront posing for photos. Though he was particularly popular with children, he met his fair share of adult admirers as well.
Alvina Williams and Asiphe Sawula took a quick break from their jobs at Quay Four Tavern in order to snag a photo with the famous rhino. Williams, 25, is looking forward to watching the track events in Rio. ‘I’m a great fan!’ she said.
Chukuru even got a kiss from Camille Bogard, 18, who enjoys watching basketball at the Games.
One of the highlights of Chukuru’s afternoon was running into local fitness celebrity Liezel van der Westhuizen who is a big fan of South Africa’s Olympic squad. Though she was in the middle of lunch, Van der Westhuizen could not help but pause for a photo with the Team SA mascot.
Chukuru’s outing in Cape Town was one of three he made around the country on Wednesday to promote the 2016 Games. Earlier in the day he visited Johannesburg and Durban, so he is likely one tired rhino.
Hart is an intern at Highbury Safika Media, and hails from Florida, US