Top 17 Famous Olympic Players in Suriname of All Time

Matt Reynolds

Suriname is a small country located on the northern coast of South America. Despite its small size, Suriname has produced some of the world’s greatest Olympic athletes.

From sprinters to weightlifters, Suriname has had a number of remarkable athletes who have achieved great success in the Olympic Games. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Olympic athletes from Suriname and the amazing accomplishments they have achieved.

1. Letitia Vriesde

Letitia Alma Vriesde is an impressive athlete from Suriname. She is a former track and field athlete who specialized in the 800 metres, but was also successful over 1500 metres.

Letitia is the first sportsperson from Suriname to have competed at five Olympic Games, a feat which is a testament to her talent and dedication. By focusing mainly on the 800 metres, Letitia was able to make a name for herself in the world of track and field.

She won multiple medals at the South American Championships and Central American and Caribbean Games.

Her best performance in the 800 metres came at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where she finished in 7th place. Letitia was also successful in the 1500 metres, competing in the event at the 1997 World Championships.

Her best performance in this event came at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, where she finished in 8th place. Letitia’s commitment to her sport was also evident in her participation in five Olympic Games.

She first competed at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, and then again at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

She also competed at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Letitia’s accomplishments in the world of track and field are remarkable.

As the first sportsperson from Suriname to compete at five Olympic Games, she has set a high standard for athletes from her country. Her dedication to the sport has been an inspiration for many, and her legacy will live on for years to come.

2. Wim Esajas

Siegfried Willem “Wim” Esajas was a pioneering athlete from the South American nation of Suriname.

He was an accomplished middle-distance runner, and in 1960 he achieved the honor of being the first Surinamese athlete to be selected for the Summer Olympics. Esajas was chosen to compete in the 800 meter event at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy.

This was an incredible accomplishment, considering that at the time Suriname was still a Dutch colony.

Esajas was a national hero and his achievement was a source of great pride for the people of Suriname. Esajas’ selection for the Olympics was a remarkable achievement for a nation that had only recently achieved independence in 1975.

He was a role model for the youth of Suriname, and his remarkable feat of becoming the first Surinamese athlete to qualify for the Olympics was a source of inspiration for a country that had only recently been granted autonomy. Esajas’ legacy lives on in Suriname.

He is remembered as a symbol of national pride and a reminder of the hard work and dedication required to achieve success. His story serves as an example of the power of determination and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Esajas’ achievement stands as a testament to the strength and determination of the people of Suriname, and he will forever remain a national hero.

3. Yvette Bonapart

Yvette Bonapart is a remarkable athlete and a source of pride for the people of Suriname. She is a sprinter who competed in the women’s 100 metres event at the 1988 Summer Olympics, making history in the process.

She was the first ever woman to represent Suriname at the Olympics, showing the world the potential of the country’s female athletes. Bonapart was a trailblazer in her country, paving the way for future generations of female athletes.

Her accomplishment was a great encouragement to young women in Suriname and showed them that they too can reach the highest levels of sport.

Bonapart’s achievements were a groundbreaking moment for Suriname and she will always be remembered as a pioneer of the female sporting scene in the country.

4. Tommy Asinga

Tommy Asinga is an accomplished former track and field athlete from Suriname. He had a successful career in the United States as he attended Eastern Michigan University from 1991 to 1994.

During his time at Eastern Michigan University, he excelled in his sport and won All-American honors five times. This is an incredible accomplishment as the All-American honors are given to only the top athletes in the country.

Asinga’s dedication and commitment to his sport was rewarded, and he is now considered one of the most successful track and field athletes from Suriname. His success has inspired many other athletes from Suriname to strive for excellence in their chosen sport.

5. Eddy Monsels

Eduard George Monsels is a Surinamese former sprinter who made history as the first competitor to represent Suriname in the Olympics.

He ran in the men’s 100 metres event at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and his accomplishment of being the first Surinamese athlete to compete in the Olympics is a legacy that he has left behind. Monsels is the brother of fellow sprinter Sammy Monsels, and the two of them have made an impact on the Olympic arena with their performances.

After the Olympics, Monsels furthered his education by studying civil engineering at Leiden University.

It is clear that Monsels is a driven individual whose determination and ambition have pushed him to excel in both athletics and academics. The legacy of the Monsels brothers is one of perseverance and dedication.

Eduard George Monsel’s Olympic debut was a major milestone for his country, and his academic success is a testament to the power of hard work and dedication. He is an inspiration to current and future athletes, and his story is one that will be remembered for years to come.

6. Soren Opti

Sören Hans Brad Opti is a talented badminton player hailing from Suriname. He was able to make his country proud when he was selected to represent Suriname at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

His impressive performance was rewarded with an invitation to compete for his country once again in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Unfortunately, due to a positive Covid-19 test, Sören was forced to stay at home and miss the opportunity to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games. Despite this setback, Sören remains a talented and inspirational badminton player who has achieved great things for his country.

7. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe

Renzo Jair Tjon-A-Joe is a talented swimmer from Suriname. He specializes in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle events and is the fastest swimmer to come out of Suriname in these events.

His success has been showcased on the international stage at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics. Renzo is a highly accomplished swimmer and has worked hard to reach the level he is now at.

He has dedicated much of his time to training and pushing himself to become the best swimmer he can be. He is now regarded as the fastest swimmer in Surinamese history in the 50 m and 100 m freestyle categories.

He is an inspiration to many aspiring swimmers in Suriname and shows that with the right attitude and hard work, anything is possible.

8. Jair Tjon En Fa

Jaïr Tjon En Fa is a talented track cyclist from Suriname. He took up the sport at the age of 13 back in 2007 and has since then been actively involved in the cycling scene.

He has competed in the sprint event at the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, and also at the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships – Men’s sprint. During the 2016 event, he managed to reach the 1/16th Final, a significant accomplishment.

Tjon En Fa’s success in cycling is a testament to his hard work and dedication. His commitment to the sport and determination to reach the highest levels has made him an inspiration to aspiring cyclists.

He has shown that it is possible to achieve great things through hard work and dedication, and he has set a great example for others to follow.

9. Enrico Linscheer

Enrico Gustavo Linscheer is an accomplished swimmer from Suriname. He made a name for himself in the international swimming scene when he participated in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics.

His achievements at these Olympics were impressive, as he managed to compete in a total of six different events. At the 1992 Olympics, he competed in the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, and 4x100m freestyle.

At the 1996 Olympics, he competed in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, and 4x100m freestyle. Enrico Gustavo Linscheer is regarded as one of the most successful swimmers from Suriname and is an inspiration to many athletes in his home country.

He was the first Surinamese swimmer to compete at the Olympic level and has since been a role model for many athletes in the country.

His achievements in the sport have been celebrated by his home country, and he is seen as a symbol of excellence and dedication to the sport of swimming. Enrico Gustavo Linscheer has been a major influence in the Surinamese swimming scene.

He has been a major contributor to the development of the sport in the country and has helped to raise the standard of swimming in Suriname. He has also helped to create opportunities for young swimmers to compete in international competitions.

His achievements and dedication to the sport of swimming have made him an icon in the Surinamese swimming world.

10. Evita Leter

Evita Elisabeth Leter is a talented swimmer from Suriname, a small country located in northern South America. She had the honor of representing her country in the 2016 Summer Olympics, competing in the women’s 100 metre breaststroke event.

Unfortunately, her time of 1:14.96 in the heats was not enough to qualify her for the semifinals.

Although Evita was unable to make it to the next round, she has achieved a great accomplishment by being the first Surinamese swimmer to compete in the Olympics. Evita hails from Paramaribo, the capital and largest city of Suriname.

She began swimming at a young age, and quickly became one of the most promising athletes in the country. Her hard work and dedication led her to the 2016 Olympics, where she was able to represent her country on the world stage.

She may not have advanced to the semifinals, but Evita’s accomplishment is inspiring to all aspiring athletes in Suriname.

11. Hugo Goossen

Hugo Goossen is a former Surinamese swimmer who achieved great success in his career. He competed in the men’s 100 metre backstroke at the 1984 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, California.

He was the first Surinamese swimmer to compete in the Olympics, representing his country with honor and distinction. Furthermore, Hugo also represented Suriname at the 1982 Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana and at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas.

He was part of the first wave of Surinamese athletes to compete in international events, and his participation was a meaningful contribution to the country’s sporting history.

Hugo Goossen is a great example of a dedicated athlete who represented his nation with pride and determination.

12. Mohamed Madhar

Mohamed Shies Madhar is an accomplished judoka from Suriname. He has represented his country at two Olympic Games, the 1984 Summer Olympics and 1988 Summer Olympics. At the time of competing in the 1984 Summer Olympics, Madhar was only 21 years old.

He competed in the 60 kg event, which requires a great deal of strength and skill. Despite his age, Madhar was able to hold his own against older and more experienced competitors, showing that he was more than capable of competing at the highest level.

Madhar’s career has been an inspiration to many young judokas from Suriname, and his success has demonstrated that age is no barrier in the pursuit of excellence.

13. Giovanni Linscheer

Giovanni Rodolfo Linscheer was an accomplished swimmer from Suriname who competed in two Olympic Games, the 1992 Summer Olympics and the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Linscheer was a record-breaking swimmer, as he held the national 50m freestyle record for 12 years until it was finally beaten by Renzo Tjon-A-Joe in 2013.

This impressive feat speaks volumes of Linscheer’s skill as a swimmer and his dedication to the sport. During his career, Linscheer made a great impact on the Surinamese swimming community.

He helped to inspire and motivate the next generation of swimmers with his impressive record-breaking performances.

His legacy was carried on after his retirement, as his record remained unbeaten for over a decade until Renzo Tjon-A-Joe finally surpassed it in 2013. Linscheer’s contribution to the world of swimming is undeniable.

He helped to raise the profile of Surinamese swimming and gave hope to aspiring swimmers in his country. His dedication to the sport is an inspiration to athletes all over the world, and his legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of swimmers everywhere.

14. Chinyere Pigot

Chinyere Pigot is an accomplished swimmer who has achieved impressive feats in both her professional and collegiate career. Born in Suriname, she now resides in Miami, Florida. She attended the University of Connecticut, where she swam on a collegiate level.

In 2008, at the tender age of fifteen, Pigot competed at the Summer Olympics to represent Suriname. After her Olympic experience, Pigot went on to attend the Doral Academy Charter High School in 2011.

Since then, she has continued to pursue her passion for swimming, and has made a name for herself as an up-and-coming athlete.

15. Roy Bottse

Roy Paul Bottse is an accomplished middle-distance runner who has represented his home country of Suriname at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He was part of the men’s 800 meter event at the Olympics, where he was able to demonstrate his remarkable athletic abilities.

Bottse has also had a successful career in the military, serving as a lieutenant in both the Dutch and later Suriname National Army. He is an example of how dedication and hard work can lead to success, no matter the field.

His achievements in both athletics and the military are something to be admired.

16. Iwan Blijd

Iwan Blijd is a remarkable athlete who made history by representing Suriname at the 1972 Summer Olympics. As the only two athletes chosen to represent Suriname in the games, Blijd and his teammate were the first from their nation to compete in the Olympic Games.

Blijd was a judoka, a martial art that focuses on grappling and throwing techniques, and he was determined to put his training to the test on the world’s biggest stage. Blijd was born in Suriname and began practicing judo from a young age, eventually earning his black belt.

His dedication to the sport paid off and he quickly became a prominent figure in the Surinamese judo community. He was selected to represent his country at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, and his selection was viewed as a major milestone for Suriname.

At the Olympics, Blijd was pitted against some of the best judoka in the world. Despite his impressive technique and skill, he was unable to advance to the medal rounds, but his performance was still impressive.

His participation in the games inspired generations of athletes in Suriname, and he is still remembered to this day for his remarkable achievement.

Blijd’s historic accomplishment at the 1972 Summer Olympics earned him a place in the hearts of his countrymen and women, and he has since been honored for his contribution to Surinamese judo and athletics.

He was the first Surinamese athlete to compete in the Olympics, and his legacy continues to inspire athletes from around the world.

17. Diguan Pigot

Diguan Pigot is a Surinamese swimmer who competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He entered in the Men’s 100 metre breaststroke event and finished in 43rd place in the heats, which meant that he did not qualify for the semifinals.

He was born in Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname, and is a proud representative of the country. Diguan Pigot had been training hard for the Olympics and was hopeful for a strong finish.

He had been swimming competitively since he was a young child, and was confident in his abilities. Unfortunately, he was not able to qualify for the semifinals in the 100 metre breaststroke event.

Despite this setback, he is still proud of his accomplishment and remains determined to reach his goals. Diguan Pigot’s story is an inspiring one and a reminder that hard work and dedication can lead to success, even in the most challenging of circumstances.

He serves as a great role model for young athletes everywhere, and is a testament to the power of perseverance.


The best Olympic players in Suriname have established a legacy of excellence.

From the first Olympian Wilfried Meertens, to the modern day stars of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the athletes of Suriname have consistently demonstrated their athletic prowess and perseverance.

The commitment to excellence by Surinamese Olympic athletes has set an example for all aspiring athletes in the country.

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Matt Reynolds

As a sports journalist and news reporter, my passion lies in covering Olympic sports and bringing the excitement of these events to readers around the world. With extensive experience in sports reporting, I have developed a deep understanding of the intricacies and dynamics of various Olympic disciplines. My goal as a journalist is to provide accurate, insightful, and engaging coverage of Olympic sports. From capturing the triumphs and challenges of athletes to analyzing their performances and strategies, I strive to deliver comprehensive stories that resonate with sports enthusiasts. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to journalistic integrity, I aim to go beyond mere reporting by delving into the human stories behind the athletes. By highlighting their journeys, sacrifices, and aspirations, I seek to create meaningful connections between readers and the world of Olympic sports. Whether it's track and field, swimming, gymnastics, or any other Olympic sport, I am dedicated to delivering timely news updates, captivating features, and thought-provoking analysis. Through my writing, I aim to inspire readers with the incredible feats accomplished by athletes on the global stage. Join me on this exhilarating journey as we dive into the world of Olympic sports together. Let's celebrate athleticism at its finest while uncovering compelling stories that showcase both triumphs and tribulations. Together, we can experience firsthand the thrill of sporting excellence in all its glory through my dedicated coverage as a passionate sports journalist and news reporter specializing in Olympic sports.