Last week International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the names of the athletes who will take part in this summer’s Rio Olympics as the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team.
The ten athletes, handpicked from a batch of 43 candidates, includes six men and five women, aged between 18 to 26, who had to take shelter in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Syria. The exclusive team consists six short, medium and long distance runners, two swimmers and two judokas.
The Olympic committee believes the initiative as an effort to raise awareness for the refugee crisis and to show the world the value of refugees.
They actually took a cue from the spirit of the ancient Olympic truce between Greece’s city-states, which once suspended all wars and subsequently banned army interference with the games, the Olympic Committee often recognizes athletes beyond political and national borders.
Since 2012, for instance, Palestine has taken part in the Olympics as an independent team, although the declared state hasn’t been able to gain United Nations recognition yet.
Here are the names and faces of the Refugee Olympic Team.