Al Jazeera

Pedal power to the rescue of Rwanda survivors

Adrien Niyonshuti is quietly spoken, naturally unassuming, and not a man to seek the spotlight – which only makes the circumstances of his past two visits to London all the more remarkable.

Team Rwanda during filming for "Rising From Ashes" [Courtesy Robb Aaron Gordon]

Team Rwanda during filming for “Rising From Ashes” [Courtesy Robb Aaron Gordon]

Last year Niyonshuti carried the flag for Rwanda at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, in recognition of his becoming the first cyclist from the African nation to qualify for the Games.

And on Thursday night, a London crowd gave him a standing ovation once again, this time inside a Leicester Square cinema at the European premiere of Rising From Ashes, a feature-length documentary that tells the extraordinary story of Team Rwanda, a professional cycling team that is challenging preconceptions of a country still traumatised by the genocide of 1994.

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