The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have revealed the names of the athletes who will represent the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021.
The final 29 athletes announced on Tuesday (8th June) come from 11 countries, and were selected by the IOC’s Executive Board from an initial group of 55 IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders.
“The refugee athletes are an enrichment for all of us in the entire Olympic community,” IOC President Thomas Bach said at the virtual ceremony from Lausanne. “The reasons we created this team still exist. We have more forcibly displaced people in the world right now, and therefore it went without saying that we wanted to create an IOC Refugee Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics”.
“The athletes represent not only themselves, not only the IOC, but also all refugees in the world,” IOC Refugee Olympic Team Chef de Mission Tegla Loroupe added. “Let’s bring solidarity, as we are solidarity people.
“Our universal language is sport, let’s go and bring joy.”
During the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games on 23 July 2021, the team will enter the brand new Japan National Stadium with the Olympic flag in second position, immediately after Greece.
The team will stay in the Olympic village, like all the other 206 National Olympic Committees taking part, and continue to receive IOC support after the Games.
For all official representations of the team (including possible medal ceremonies), the Olympic flag will be raised and the Olympic anthem will be played.
Tokyo 2020 President HASHIMOTO Seiko said: “The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee welcomes the participation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, following its debut at the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
“The participation of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in the Tokyo 2020 Games, which will be both a festival of sport and a celebration of peace, will draw the world’s attention to the issue of refugees and further advance efforts to achieve world peace through the elimination of the wars and conflicts that cause people to flee their homeland.”