The Olympic refugee team returns to the Games after its good experience in Rio 2016. This time there will be 19 more than in the Brazilian event, covering 29 places out of the 55 athletes who applied to join this peculiar delegation. These athletes will participate in the following sports: track and field, badminton, boxing, boating, cycling (road), judo, karate, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
In the delegation that lands in Tokyo, figures such as Popole Misenga, Yusra Mardini or Rose Loyonken stand out. All three have already competed in the Games in Rio under the refugee banner. The first one did it in judo and went on to win the first match at the Games. Popole decided to stay in Brazil to live, where she resides, with the help of the international Olympic committee, since she set foot on Brazilian soil to participate in the 2016 Games.
Popole Misenga with the flag of the Refugees in Rio team.
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Did you know? The Olympic Refugee Team debuted in Rio de Janeiro 2016
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Yusra Mardini not only swam, she even won her series in her first participation. The first big news from the refugee team, which has been joined again at this Tokyo event with the intention of improving that participation. And they are joined by the athlete Rose Loyonken, bearer of the flag of the refugee delegation in Rio 2016 along with Popole, who will once again parade with the team on the opening day.
However, this time there are two refugee athletes with a real chance of fighting for a medal. Something unthinkable until now. One of them is Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi, a taekwondo player from Iran who resides in the Netherlands and is number 3 in the world in the ranking of the category under 49 kilos. And she is joined by another taekwondo practitioner of Iranian origin, Kimia Alizadech Zenozi, who won a bronze medal in Rio 2016. After that she decided to take refuge in Germany, a decision that caused her to be part of the refugee delegation.
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