The IOC announced the 2020 Tokyo Refugee Olympic Team, comprising of 29 athletes who will participate in the summer games. These include athletes from 11 countries that will participate in 12 different sports. This is the second time a Refugee team will participate in the Olympics, with the first time being in 2016 at the Rio Olympics.
The athletes were congratulated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Olympic Refuge Foundation.
The Refugee Olympic Team is hope for the 80 million displaced
“I am thrilled to congratulate each of the athletes who have been named in the Tokyo 2020 Refugee Olympic Team,” said Grandi.
“They are an exceptional group of people who inspire the world. UNHCR is incredibly proud to support them as they compete at the Tokyo Olympics. Surviving war, persecution and the anxiety of exile already makes them extraordinary people, but the fact that they now also excel as athletes on the world stage fills me with immense pride.”
“It shows what is possible when refugees are given the opportunity to make the most of their potential. These athletes embody the hopes and aspirations of the more than 80 million people around the world who have been uprooted by war and persecution. They serve as a reminder that everyone deserves the chance to succeed in life.”
The Refugee Olympic Team will send a strong message of hope and unity while bringing awareness to the plight of 80 million people.
The UNHCR works with the IOC and ORF to help refugees build a better future for themselves. The IOC, the ORF, the International Paralympic Committee along UNHCR, work to allow people, including refugees and those with disabilities, to equally access and participate in sport.