International Olympic Committee Names 10 Athletes to Refugee Team That Will Compete at Rio Olympics

Congolese judokas Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga are based in Brazil (PHOTO CREDIT: IOC)
Congolese judokas Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga are based in Brazil (PHOTO CREDIT: IOC)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) named today 10 refugee athletes who will compete as a team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer, with hopes of shining a light on the harrowing refugee crisis.

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini was among those named to the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team, a year after she swam for her life across the Aegean Sea to escape war at home.

“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” IOC President Thomas Bach said today while revealing the makeup of the team. “We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the word. 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.”

Here is the final list of athletes who were named to the Refugee Olympic Team – the first of its kind — by the IOC’s executive board:

  • 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

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SOURCE: ABC News, Morgan Winsor