Full name: Brahim Ben Bouilla
Original name: إبراهيم بن بويلا
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
Weight: 132 lbs (60 kg)
Born: November 29, 1959 in Marrakech, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco
Affiliations: Wydad de Casablanca, Casablanca (MAR)
Brahim Ben Bouilla rose to prominence in Morocco during the 1980s as a champion cyclist. A native of Marrakech, he began his cycling career in 1975 and joined the national team in 1979, at the age of 20. Throughout the following decade he won numerous individual and team gold medals in international competitions, mainly at official and unofficial Pan Arab Games. He also competed in the Morocco Cycle Tour five times and was the national champion thrice (1982, 1983, and 1985). Among his notable non-medaling placements were fourth in the individual road race at the 1983 Mediterranean Games (held in his native country) and a non-finishing appearance in the same event at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Shortly afterwards he made the decision to turn professional, but abandoned this pursuit when his university refused to allow him the necessary time off to train and compete.
After his career as a competitor ended, Ben Bouilla spent three years in the United Arab Emirates as a coach and a trainer, but resigned after not being properly compensated for his successful efforts. Despite his success as a sportsman, he found himself marginalized in his home country throughout his life and, on more than one occasion, nearly quit the national team. He was encouraged by his friend, the renowned Moroccan cyclist Mustapha Nejjari, to persevere but, after retiring, his troubles increased and he found it difficult to support his family of three children. He appealed to Moroccan Olympic Champion Nawal El-Moutawakel, but never received a reply, and the Governor of the Marrakech region gave him only a job as a street cleaner, an offering that so shamed the Regional Director that he provided Ben Bouilla four months’ salary without having to work. As of 2009 he runs a bicycle repair shop, but continues to face daily economic hardship and the rupture of his family.
|1984 Summer||24||Los Angeles||Cycling||Men's Road Race, Individual||Morocco||MAR||AC||DNF|