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Members of Olympic Refugees team return to Nairobi from Rio


A group of five refugees originally from South Sudan who took part in the Rio Olympics as an independent team landed back in Nairobi on Wednesday (August 21) to a warm welcome.

The five athletes were part of a group of ten refugees who made history as members of the first ever Refugee Olympic Team to compete at Olympics games.

On arrival in Rio and, despite having no national flags or national anthems they were welcomed at the games with an Olympic flag and Olympic anthem.

Kenya’s former Olympiam Tegla Loroupe was the head of mission for the team urged other governments and associations to come out and help the refugees attain their full potential as exhibited by the Kenyan Government in supporting the team that went to Rio.

“A person called a refugee is not a bad person but they are talent inside like our people and therefore the national Olympics and all over the world, should also emulate what the Kenyan national Olympic committee and also our government they have given this opportunity for these athletes to participate and show their talent in Rio,” said Kenya’s former Olympiad Tegla Loroupe.

The five , Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, Rose Nathine Lokonyen, Yiech Pur Biel, Paula Amotun Lokoro and James Nyang Chiengjiek, all failed to win a medal,

but the experience was worth more than the hardware.

Rose Nathine said she was excited because it was the first time the refugees participated in such a world event.

“I feel very excited because it was our first time for the refugees to participate in Olympic, because it was our first time to be given this opportunity to participate,” said Olympic refugee participant Rose Nathine.

The athletes joined the drummers at the airport and danced to the tune while others were seen hugging their friends and overwhelmed by emotions.

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