Getting to represent your country in a global sporting event is already an achievement in itself. Winning in the sport you are part of will earn a place in history for your country. But what if you didn’t bring a flag to celebrate your victory?
Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahore won the 2018 World Indoor Championships gold medal. She couldn’t find an Ivory Coast flag, so she flipped an Irish flag given by a spectator and used it.
Who is Murielle Ahoure?
Murielle Ahoure was born on August 23, 1987, in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast. She is the stepdaughter of General Mathias Doué. Doué was a high-ranking military official who was the chief of staff to the Armed Forces of the Ivory Coast from 2000 to 2004.
Ahoure lived in many different countries. She moved to France when she was three. Ahoure also lived in China, Japan, and Germany, returning to the Ivory Coast when she was 11. She lived in her home country for two years then returned to France. After a year, Ahoure was sent to Bristow, Virginia, with her mother Chantal and her two brothers and sister.
Ahoure was sent to the US for added security as determined by her stepfather. She attended the Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Virginia. In her sophomore year, her guidance counselor suggested joining a sports team to make new friends as she was a new kid in the school.
She was later introduced to coach TD Holsclaw right before the outdoor track season. Her talent for sprinting was noticed when she ran the 200-meter leg of the sprint medley. Holsclaw was amazed at her talent and soon included her in the team.
Ahoure competed for three years with Hayfield Secondary, and by her senior year, she was receiving many scholarship offers. In 2005, she chose the scholarship offered by George Mason University since she wanted to stay close to their home.
The sprinter studied criminal law and continued to compete. Her coach, Angie Taylor, helped her improve and lower her sprint times. She soon found herself participating in heats at the NCAA championships and the USA Junior championships.
Ahoure soon broke records in the sport. She took the indoor record for NCAA 2009 200 meter sport and the Ivory Coast’s 100-meter national record, breaking it twice. In the same year, Ahoure finished her studies. She earned her degree in criminal law from the University of Miami. Ahoure continued her career in sprinting right after her graduation.
Ahoure made her international debut when she represented Ivory Coast in the 2012 World Indoor Championships. The sprinter earned the first medal for Ivory Coast in this competition. She then represented her country in the Olympics, finishing seventh place in the 100 meter and sixth place in the 200-meter events. (Source: World Athletics)
Ahoure is still an active athlete and is eyeing to join the 2022 Olympics.
2018 World Indoor Championships
In 2018, Ahoure competed in the World Indoor Championships, representing her mother country, Ivory Coast. She competed in the Women’s division of the 60-meter sprint. Ahoure beat her record in the semi-final heat of 7.01, finishing the final round with a 6.97-second victory. (Source: World Athletics)
Since her win was momentous both for her and her country, she wanted to commemorate it by flying the flag of the Ivory Coast, which was customary for winners. They soon found out that there was no customary winner’s flag for the country. With her quick wits, Ahoure spotted a spectator sporting an Irish flag.
Since the Irish and Ivory Coast flags had the same colors and the only difference was the position of the colors, Ahoure grabbed the flag and flipped it over, making the Irish flag an Ivory Coast flag. (Source: Today FM)