Meet the team of refugees set to compete at the Rio Olympics
While the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil are plagued by a number of problems, ranging from the outbreak of the Zika virus to pollution, there is some good news: the debut of a team comprised solely of refugees.
While the creation of team was announced earlier this year, we’re finally getting to meet the Team Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA) thanks to videos posted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
In all, six men and four women were chosen to represent the team in Rio, including five from South Sudan and two from Syria, and are they’re competing in a range of sports, from track and field to swimming.
The group includes Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini, who Mashable talked to earlier this year when she was still an Olympic hopeful.
The team will participate under the Olympic flag and Olympic anthem and will be housed with other athletes in the Olympic Village. They’ll also have a place of honor during the traditional “parade of nations” during the Opening Ceremonies.The IOC will also provide coaches and travel, among other expenses, for the ROA team members via the Olympic Solidarity program.
This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world,”IOC President Thomas Bach said upon announcement of the team.“And will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis.”
For more videos on on ROA team members, check out the UNHCR’s YouTube page.
The complete list of ROA athletes is as follows, from an IOC press release.
Rami Anis (M): Country of origin Syria; host NOC Belgium; sport swimming
Yiech Pur Biel (M): Country of origin South Sudan; host NOC Kenya; sport athletics, 800m
James Nyang Chiengjiek (M): Country of origin South Sudan; host NOC Kenya; sport athletics, 400m
Yonas Kinde (M): Country of origin Ethiopia; host NOC Luxembourg; sport athletics, marathon
Anjelina Nada Lohalith (F): Country of origin South Sudan; host NOC Kenya; sport athletics, 1500m
Rose Nathike Lokonyen (F): Country of origin South Sudan; host NOC Kenya; sport athletics, 800m
Paulo Amotun Lokoro (M): Country of origin South Sudan; host NOC Kenya; sport athletics, 1500m
Yolande Bukasa Mabika (F): Country of origin Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC Brazil; sport judo, -70kg
Yusra Mardini (F): Country of origin Syria; host NOC Germany; sport swimming
Popole Misenga (M): Country of origin Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC Brazil; sport judo, -90kg
An initial group of 43 candidates was announced and was whittled down to these 10 team members.
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