Refugee team to participate in Rio 2016 Olympics

A team of up to 10 refugees could take part in the Rio Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved the plan.

A total of 43 high-performance athletes, who are also refugees, have been identified as eligible for the Games which get underway in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August.

“The final number of athletes that would make up this team depends of qualification criteria,

“I can just give you my feeling, but I believe that this team could feature between five and 10 athletes,” said IOC president Thomas Bach after a meeting of the body’s executive committee on Wednesday, 2 March.

He added that the team would compete under the flag of the IOC.

“We have all been touched by the magnitude of this refugee crisis. By welcoming this team, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees in the world.” he added.

The IOC had already identified in December three athletes who had fled their home countries and whose skills could be of a high enough standard to feature in the 2016 Olympics.

They were a Syrian swimmer based in Germany, a judoka from the Democratic Republic of Congo living in Brazil and an Iranian taekwondo fighter training in Belgium.

From The Guardian

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