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Refugee judoka targets Olympics to reunite with family in DRC

Refugee judoka targets Olympics to reunite with family in DRC

Judo

Popole Misenga is one of the 43 pre-selected first team of refugees in the history of Olympic games.

More than two and a half years after he came to Rio de Janeiro to compete in the World Judo Championships, the DR Congo born judoka is still in Rio, in pursuit of an extraordinary Olympic dream.

“Its a really good thing in this world. I was convincing to my self that I am not a person who takes second place. Many are now considering us like very important people despite being refugees,” he told AFP

If by any chance I will be successful to participate in the Rio Olympics then that will be the best way I can be identified faster and easily.

Misenga now hopes that he will reunite with his family in DRC after having separated with them during the civil war.

“There is no any other way I can contact my family. If by any chance I will be successful to participate in the Rio Olympics then that will be the best way I can be identified faster and easily,” he said.

Misenga, who is now being sponsored by a Brazilian University, is one of just two Rio-based refugees hoping to compete at the Olympics along with fellow Congolese-born judoka Yolande Mabika.

Upon his arrival in Brazil in 2013, Misenga was collected by his fellow refugees who welcomed him. He now stays with his girlfriend in Brazil waiting for doors to open up for him.

AFP