The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday announced the names of 29 refugee athletes, who will participate at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics under the Olympic flag.
During the opening ceremony on July 23, these refugee athletes, who hails from 13 host National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competing in 12 sports, will enter the stadium in second position after Greece.
Tegla Loroupe, an Olympian and former marathon world-record holder from Kenya has been named as the team’s Chef de Mission.
The selection of the refugee team was based on the athletes’ sporting performance and their refugee status as confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Personal background and “balanced representativity in terms of sport, gender and regions, were also considered”.
“I speak on behalf of the entire Olympic Movement when I say that we cannot wait to meet you in person and to see you compete in Tokyo. When you, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and the athletes from the NOCs from all over the globe, finally come together in Tokyo on July 23, it will send a powerful message of solidarity, resilience and hope to the world. You are an integral part of our Olympic community, and we welcome you with open arms,” IOC Chief Thomas Bach said.