The first team of refugees was created to participate in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The IOC decided to found this set to give athletes affected by the refugee crisis the option to qualify and compete in the Olympic event.
Olympic Refugee Team in Rio de Janeiro 2016
Image source: Eurosport
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Thomas Bach, IOC President, spoke of the hope that came with creating this Olympic team. “In welcoming the Refugee Olympians team (as the team was originally to be known) to the Rio 2016 Olympics, we want to send a message of hope to all refugees in our world.It is also a signal to the international community of that refugees are our companions and are an enrichment for society“.
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What represented the refugee team in Rio were: ten athletes, two swimmers, two judokas, a marathoner and five track athletes. The standard bearer was Popole Misenga who won her first judo match to reach the round of 16 in the -90kg category.
This year, the Olympic Refugee Team will once again participate in the JJs. OO. and most athletes are supported by the IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarships, which were created after the success of 2016.
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A total of 29 athletes will attend Tokyo, competing in 12 different sports: athletics, badminton, boxing, boating, cycling (road), judo, karate, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
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