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Rio 2016: Meet the 2016 Olympic Refugee team

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Post time: 2016-08-08 19:53:16
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Switzerland. 10 refugees will compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Ten refugees have been selected to form the first-ever Refugee Olympic Athletes team. ;
The Olympics, in theory, are a place where politics remain outside the stadium, where athletes compete for their country without the baggage of parochial grievances. It’s a nice theory. The reality is that political and military disputes that dot the entire planet often sweep up innocent athletes in their tornado, and the International Olympic Committee can express views as partisan as any nation. But on occasion, politics can prove a net positive, as the IOC is demonstrating with the creation of a team entirely composed of refugees from war-torn and economically ravaged countries.

The refugee team will march and compete under the Olympic flag, and includes 10 athletes: five from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia. The team will field competitors in swimming, judo, and athletics.

“These refugee athletes have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” IOC presdient Thomas Bach said. “The invention of this refugee team is to give them a home in the Olympic village together with all the athletes around the world.”

The refugee team will be housed in the Olympic Village, and will be given all the honors accorded other nations, including a spot in the Opening and Closing ceremonies. The refugee team will march in just ahead of host Brazil.

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