© Sundowns ProductionAuthor: John AliuWith the Paris 2024 Olympics kicking off on July 26th, the sporting world will be held spellbound by the athleticism, drama and global unity of the games. South Africa, in particular, will be aiming to make history.With a strong contingent of athletes like Wayde van Niekerk (Men’s 400m world record-holder), Chad Le Clos (South Africa’s most decorated Olympian), Akani Simbine (former 100 meters African record holder), Tatjana Schoenmaker (African record holder in the long course and short course 100-meter breaststroke as well as the short course 200-meter breaststroke), alongside a host of other talented South Africans, the nation is poised for a potentially record-breaking showing in Paris.
The Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies duo of Oratile Mokwena and Nthabiseng Majiya have expressed their excitement ahead of this year’s global showpiece.
© Muzi NtombelaFor Oratile, Schoeman’s courage is one of the reasons she is backing her in Paris, “She continues to break records and I like how she carries herself. She always demands more from herself. What puts the cherry on top is that I got to witness her golden mindset back in TuksSport High School, where she was a few classes ahead.”

Despite her admiration for Tatjana, Mokwena opted for Athletics when asked about which sports she is looking forward to watching.

“I would choose athletics, track running, simply because I used to do athletics when I was young and fell in love with the sport. Also, there are key attributes athletes possess such as determination, consistency and discipline which align with my values and approach to football,” said the Banyana Ba Style midfielder.
The program of the 2024 Summer Olympics will feature 329 events in 32 sports, with football expected to be one of the highlights of the global event. In Banyana Banyana’s absence, Oratile has backed both Nigeria and Zambia to make a statement.
© Samuel Shivambu“I will be backing both teams, particularly Zambia (the fellow COSAFA contenders). Their last performance at the Olympics was epic because they shocked many people. I will never forget how Barbra Banda made history at Tokyo 2020 when she became the first player — man or woman — to score a hat-trick in back-to-back games. They were underdogs to the tournament, but their belief propelled them to become one of the most impressive teams in the competition,” Mokwena concluded.

Nthabiseng Majiya, who has enjoyed a solid start to her Sundowns Ladies career with 8 goals in her first 10 appearances, has picked the athletes who have inspired her the most.
“I do have footballers that inspire me, which are Sam Kerr and Neymar. I love the way Kerr scores her goals, as you can see at Chelsea Ladies. She is also the all-time leading Australian international scorer. Neymar is another legend of the game and his skills are just incredible,” said the Sundowns Ladies striker.

When asked about which Olympic sport other than football she could compete in, Majiya said, “Rugby because I have speed and strength. I love watching rugby a lot in my free time. I am also looking forward to watching South Africa during the Rugby Sevens in Paris.”

In the football games, the highly talented striker also backed Nigeria and Zambia to make the continent proud, “Both teams are good and I believe that they will represent us well. They have the passion and the skills to succeed. I am also hoping that someday I will represent South Africa at the Olympics tournament because I have the potential to succeed at that level.”
In the last Olympics in Tokyo, Tatjana Schoenmaker’s gold and silver medals ensured South Africa finished as the third-best African nation, with Kenya securing four gold medals and Uganda two gold medals.