As a child, Olympic runner Charles Nkazamyampi walked 20 km to school every day but, by secondary school, he had already become a track star in his home country of Burundi. At the age of 21 he earned a scholarship to train in France, but was unable to compete in the 1992 Summer Olympics as the country was not a member of the IOC until 1993. Nevertheless, he took gold in the 800 m event at the 1992 Athletics Africa Cup and was preparing for the same event at the 1993 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Toronto when he received a call that his parents had been killed in the country's civil war. Inspired to "put glory to them", he participated in the event and won silver. After an appearance at the 1996 Summer Olympics, he retired, returning to his home in 2000 to discover the destruction that had hit his country. Since then, he has been heavily involved in charitable activities, beginning with the establishment of the first soccer team for street children in Rwanda in 2001, which grew into a 20-team league. He later founded the Foundation for Sport and Culture and Peace in that country, an orphanage and care center that encourages children in athletic pursuits, with the hopes of spreading it to Burundi and the Congo. Since 2004, his organization has built a strong relationship with the the Right to Play program, an organization founded by Norweigan speed skating champion Johann Olav Koss to provide athletic support and funds to developing nations and encourage healthy and peaceful living through sport. In 2003, Nkazamyampi and his wife Gasana Mutesi founded Amani Africa (Amani means "peace" in Swahili), a charitable organization that works with children in post-conflict neighborhoods in East Africa and pays for over 250 of them to attend school.
Personal Best: 800 – 1:44.24 (1993).
|1996 Summer||26||Atlanta||Athletics||Men's 800 metres||Burundi||BDI||6 h4 r1/3|