The wholehearted spirit of athletes in the competition left a deep impression on the participants, especially those from Congolese contingents.

According to the results of the lot drawing, the Congolese team competed with athletes from Myanmar. Even though Congolese athletes finished their competition nearly an hour later than their rivals, they still carefully performed each part of the event. They also brought a singing and dancing performance to the field to serve the audience, international friends, and the jury, showing their competitive spirit and fair play sportsmanship even though they did not win the competition.

First Lieutenant Koutatouka Jurdelein Brown, Head of the Congolese “Emergency Area” contingent talking with Lieutenant Colonel Trinh Thi Xoan, lecturer of the Military Science Academy  

Their enthusiasm and optimism helped all people forget tiredness and harsh weather conditions in the field. The power of music, lyrics, and singing erased all boundaries of language, skin color, even the inherent loss in a normal competition.

On that day, during the break time, I met First Lieutenant Koutatouka Jurdelein Brown, Head of the Congolese contingent. Koutatouka is a cartographic engineer, who was doing a five-year military training course in Russia. Via the competition, Congolese troops had a chance to practice and experience how to use many kinds of equipment and weapons, access to science and technology in the military, raise their shooting competence, and search and rescue. Even though they did not have high results, they were still proud as they tried their best and did not give up difficult tasks.

The Congolese “Emergency Area” contingent visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

This was the first time Congolese athletes visited Vietnam. They were brought from the airport to the National Military Training Center No.4 (Hanoi), where the event took place. In order to guarantee absolute safety for all athletes, the organizing panel ensured accommodation and training work for the international friends right in the center.

First Lieutenant Koutatouka was impressed by the good living conditions and delicious food in the Vietnamese training center. The athletes also received SIM cards and free internet service so that they could keep in touch with their families. Besides, the training ground was also well organized for them.

The Congolese team in a photo with Major General La Dai Phong, Second-in-command of the Search and Rescue Department under the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, and Rear Admiral Subbotin Andrei Nikolaevich, a representative of the Army Games 2022 organizers

The contest took place in hot weather conditions with outdoor temperature of about 34-35 degrees Celcius. The organizers prepared fresh water and equipment for them during their training to prepare for the competition. The Head of the Congolese team was particularly interested in the raincoat of Vietnamese service-members because of its convenience and suitable design. He even asked for a few sets of raincoats for his comrades.

The international friends had memorable experiences through their visits to Ha Long Bay, the Vietnam Military History Museum, and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which helped them understand more about the Vietnamese culture, history, country, and people, as well as its cause of national construction and protection.

Visiting Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, First Lieutenant Koutatouka expressed his admiration for the leader of the Vietnamese nation and was deeply impressed by the friendliness and hospitality of the Vietnamese people. For him, Hanoi was beautiful, and Vietnam was beautiful.

“I will definitely come back here!” said Koutatouka.

Translated by Minh Anh