Ten refugee athletes have been given the opportunity to go for gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the first refugee team ever to compete in the games.
The International Olympic Committee announced in a statement on their website the formation of the team on Friday after they narrowed down the shortlist from 43 athletes. The team will be accompanied by 15 officials.
“These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the world. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor and the Olympic flag will lead them into the stadium.
The 10 refugee athletes – six males and four females – will take part in the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium in Brazil and compete under the Olympic flag, according to CNN.
Syrian swimmer Rami Anis, who is living in Belgium, was the first to be announced to join the team and was joined by Yiech Pur Biel, an 800-meter runner from South Sudan and countrymen James Nyang Chiengijek, a 400-meter runner, and Paulo Amotun Lokoro, a 1,500-meter runner.
Competing in the marathon will be Ethiopian Yomas Kinde. In the 90 kg judo category, Popole Misenga from the Democratic Republic of Congo will take part.
Of the females, Anjelina Nada Lohalith has been chosen to compete in the 1,500 metres and Rose Nathinke Lokonyen for the 800 metres. Both are from South Sudan.
Yolande Bukasa Mabika will take part in the 70 kg judo. Mabika left the Democratic Republic of Congo before she sought asylum in Brazil in 2013. Eighteen-year-old Yusra Mardini, who is now settled in Germany after leaving Syria, will take part in swimming.