Olympic refugee team athletes announced

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The first Refugee Olympic Team, made up of 10 athletes, was announced by the International Olympic Committee on Friday.

It includes five athletes from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Congo and one from Ethiopia.

The refugee team will march in the Opening Ceremony as the penultimate delegation behind the Olympic Flag, just before host nation Brazil at the Maracana on Aug. 5.

“Ten refugee athletes will act as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide and bring global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis when they take part in the Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a press release.

The 10 athletes were chosen from a group of 43 candidates.

“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a press release. “We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the world. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor, and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium. This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis. It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society. These refugee athletes will show the world that despite the unimaginable tragedies that they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through their talent, skills and strength of the human spirit.”

Here are the athletes:

  • 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

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