The Refugee Olympic Team
Start writing a post

The Refugee Olympic Team

Changing the game and setting a new standard.

The Refugee Olympic Team
ABC News

For the Olympics this year held in Rio Grande, Brazil, there will be athletes and representatives from over 200 countries. During the opening ceremony on this past Friday night, for the first time ever, the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) walked in the annual Parade of Nations, waving the banner of the Olympic Games high.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) welcomed these athletes with open arms, choosing ten out of forty candidates based on not only sporting skill but also verified refugee status and personal background. These teammates hail from the four most troubled and affected countries on the globe: Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. They had been officially announced as a real team in June by the IOC's Executive Board. They will be treated as any other country's team will be treated, and will be supplied with housing, food, and athletic apparel. Even further, the Olympic Solidarity contract will cover travel and other expenses for participation for the team, and will continue to support the members even after the Olympic Games.

According to the United Nations, more than 65 million people were removed or displaced from their homes just last year, due to war, persecution, and human rights violations. In that 65 million, at least 21 million are considered refugees. The largest refugee population comes from Syria, with almost 5 million individuals alone. You may not even realize it, but there are refugees from all over the world here in America. I know a few people from Syria who attend my high school. Refugees are not people we turn our backs on, because they are normal people, and deserve to be treated that way. I believe this team is setting the bar relatively high for the rest of the world, and drawing a great deal of attention to the matter(s) at hand. As the president of the IOC puts it, "[They] are sending a message of hope to the many millions of refugees around the globe." It shows how far the world has come, and the progress that is being made towards helping out the 21 or so million refugees from sea to sea.

Here are the athletes competing in the 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio Grande, Brazil:

1. Rami Anis - Swimming; Country of Origin: Syria

2. Yiech Pur Biel - Track & Field; Country of Origin: South Sudan

3. Yolande Bukasa Mabika - Judo; Country of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo

4. Yonas Kinde - Track & Field; Country of Origin: Ethiopia

5. Angelina Nada Lohalith - Track & Field; Country of Origin: South Sudan

6. Yusra Mardini - Swimming; Country of Origin: Syria

7. James Nyang Chiengjiek - Track & Field; Country of Origin: South Sudan

8. Popole Misenga - Judo; Country of Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo

9. Paulo Amotun Lokoro - Track & Field; Country of Origin: South Sudan

10. Rose Nathike Lokonyen - Track & Field; Country of Origin: South Sudan

Watch them make history over the next few weeks, and see the Olympic Games be forever changed. Their accomplishments will be celebrated, and their voices will be heard.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments