Uganda to Utah: Building an Olympic Dream Run

Uganda to Utah: Building an Olympic Dream Run


Looking at people’s generosity and how they
open up their hearts, and you know, looking at the family that was able to take me in
and give me an opportunity to grow as an individual and also attend college. You
know, they did not have to do that; they did not have to open up their house
their hearts and their, like, love and offer it to me. The Olympics is
going to give me the platform that I need to reach out to other Africans that
get to move to countries like America and to show them that you can enter
sports that are outside your world. I’m currently working on getting the
qualifications and the criterias needed to secure a spot and be a contender in the Olympics. I’m Brolin Mawejje, I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was born in Uganda, I
moved to the states when I was 12. I moved to Boston, Massachusetts and
joined an after-school program that takes kids around the inner city and takes
them out in the mountains and introduces them to the winter sports. And in our
program I found some friends and actually the family I live with and my
foster brother right now, his family asked me to live with them and for
last nine years now I’ve lived with the Hesslers and I’ve been a Hessler for … I
guess for the rest of my life I’ll be a Hessler. I think Utah is the coolest
place ever I mean if you look at all other
snowboarding or skiing areas you do not get a 20-minute drive to the airport,
20-minute drive to class, 20-minute drive to the mountains. So I moved to Utah in 2011 to
attend Westminster College and as well as snowboard. I wanted to place that had
mountains that I can continue being a part of the community — the mountain community —
and also a college that would accommodate what I needed.
Having grown up in the East Coast a little bit and in the West, hearing about
Park City and where all the athletes go; it’s where all the best snowboarders at
the time go. I really had this image of Park City as the mecca of snowboarding.
It has become that because you see the likes of Sage [Kotsenburg] you see you know Chris Grenier, Sam Taxwood and all the people that were molding the sport
as it went along. Park City you always have that going for
it. Versus Brighton [Ski Resort] what do get it almost
feel where you can hang out your friends it’s more laid-back but you still have a
lot of fun futures you can hit and a lot of progression they can go down I mean
when I wake up what I think about is what trick can I do today to improve my
overall tricks that I have in my bag for snowboarding. I guess it’s trying to gain
consistency and trying to gain an arsenal of tricks to become a contender in these World Cups and to eventually go through to the Olympics. You can never stop learning. My goal is
to become a doctor; I’ve always had that dream since I was a young child in
Africa, also giving back to Africa, so I have another goal of trying to build a
hospital in Uganda, being able to go back to help the Ugandan medical system
improve. February 4th. I — I was in Kazakhstan for
World University Games, I had a little bit of nausea and I went into the
hospital — someone to me to go to the hospital — they told me that I was having heart failure, my heart was at
20% flow. The conclusion was my heart is a little bigger than my body so it beats a little irregular. So I found out in Kazakhstan that I have an irregular heartbeat. It
made me realize I should become an Olympic snowboarder. I really want to die an Olympian. The only way I know how to do it is through snowboarding. My dream run would be [Brolin describes a series of snowboarding tricks and jargon]. I’m working on the building pieces to build that run out and being able to, you
know, when it’s time to go just pull the trigger pull out the trick. I still need
a little more time to build my dream run and I believe that if I give myself some
more time I’ll be able to perform better and be a contender for the 2022 games
rather than be able to just show up and go through the motions of the 2018 games
as an African that just made it to the games because he learned how to snowboard. The
journey has become more important than the destination. Whether I make it or not
I want to be more than the Olympics or more than the historical tag that it
will create. I want to be seen as an individual that really, you know, gave back to the
world that gave him a lot. I’m ready to turn that page and give back to others.

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