Taking a historic step, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) unveiled for the first time ever in the history of Olympics a team of refugees who will participate under the Olympic Flag.
The IOC declared that this year’s team would have 10 members and 12 officials all of whom are refugees.
As per rules, they will compete under the Olympic flag as they have no home, team, flag or national anthem.
Announcing the team, IOC president Thomas Bach said that out of the 10 players five athletes are from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia. Out of these six are men and four are women.
There players will compete in swimming, judo and athletics.
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These players are swimmer Yusra Mardini who is from Syria but trains in Germany, Rose Nathike Lokonyen from South Sudan who is a middle distance runner and lives in a refugee camp in Kenya and Yolande Bukasa Mabika from Republic of Congo who is Judoka and trains in Brazil.
Bach also clarified that the Olympic anthem will be played in their honour and that the Olympic flag will lead them into the stadium.
With this, Back hopes to send a “ symbol of hope for all refugees in the world”.
The team will come as the penultimate team at the opening ceremony, ahead of the host nation.