Refugee Team Set to Compete at Rio Olympics

For the first time in history and in a truly inspirational move, the Rio Olympics will have a team made up of refugees competing across various events at the Games.

The International Olympics Committee have announced the 10 athletes, six males and four females, who will be going for gold and competing under the Olympic flag in one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world. They will walk out alongside athletes from hundreds of other countries to represent every single person who has been forced to leave their homeland, relocate and subsequently become a refugee.

Of the move to include a refugee team, IOC president Thomas Bach said; “These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem.

“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 honour and the Olympic flag will lead them into the stadium.”

After whittling down the shortlist from 43 to the final 10, the athletes chosen were;

Rami Anis, a Syrian living in Belgium, who will compete in the swimming pool

Yiech Pur Biel, from South Sudan, who will take part in the men’s 800m

Yomas Kinde, from Ethopia, who will run in the Marathon

James Nyand Chiengijek, who is a specialist in the 400m

Judo athletes Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga.

Judo athletes Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga. Image via Rio 2016

Popole Misenga, who is from the Democratic Republic of Congo and will participate in the men’s 90kg Judo category

Yolande Bukasa Mabika, a former Democratic Republic of Congo resident who found asylum in Brazil and will be involved in the 70kg women’s Judo category.

Paulo Amotun Lokoro, who will compete in the men’s 1,500m and is from South Sudan

Yusra Mardini

Swimmer Yura Mardini. Image via The National

Yusra Mardini, an 18-year-old swimmer who left Syria and now resides in Germany

Anjelina Nada Lohalith, from South Sudan, who will take part in the 1,500m women’s event.

Rose Nathinke Lokonyen, who will compete in the women’s 800m and is from South Sudan

At Champions Olympic Speakers we see this story as a truly inspiring one and echo the sentiments of the IOC President when he added that ‘this will be a symbol of hope for all refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis.’

We hope you, like us, will be keeping a close eye out for the ten athletes competing in the Refugee Olympic Team and, alongside Team GB, will be cheering them on to success.


We have a multitude of summer Olympic speakers on our books, each who have their own inspiring story of how they made it to and competed at the Olympic Games and are available for bookings today, so take a closer look and choose your favourite for your next event.