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8 African refugee athletes secure Rio Olympics dream

8 African refugee athletes secure Rio Olympics dream

Refugees

A 10-member team of refugee athletes have been named by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete in the Rio Olympics.

They will be the first-ever refugee Olympic team.

Of the number, five are from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia.

They will take part in competitions such as swimming and judo; the majority in track and field.

The athletes are excited about their participation.

“It means you tell the world that we refugees are human beings like other people, you see? And the refugee team are filing through in the same way that other people are filing through, you see? And the people who can tell these people are only us, because when you keep quiet other people will not know your story, you see,” Yiech Pur Biel, Refugee Olympic team member said.

“I am very excited because I will see the big swimmer Michael Phelps, and I am very proud,” Ram Anis, another Refugee Olympic team member added.

The team will march behind the Olympic flag, and if any of the athletes wins a medal, the Olympic anthem will be played at the medal ceremony, the IOC says.

The IOC adds that it set up the team to inspire refugees all around the world.

All you need to know about 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