Refugee team to compete at Rio Olympics
A team of up to 10 refugees could take part in Rio Olympics after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave the plan a green light. 43 prospective athletes were identified for Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA), which will compete under the Olympic flag. "By welcoming ROA to the Olympic Games in Rio, we want to send a message of hope," said IOC.
The 2016 Summer Olympics officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, is a major international multi-sport event that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 August to 21 August 2016.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach said that top refugee athletes with no home country to represent will be allowed to compete at the 2016 Rio Games. Bach made the announcement at the U.N. General Assembly, which adopted a resolution urging all countries to stop fighting and observe a truce during the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Bach said the IOC (in September 2015) created a $2 million fund "to bring hope through sport to refugees." Welcoming the refugees he said, "Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic anthem."
A small team of international refugee athletes will participate in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year, IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed. While touring a refugee camp in Athens, he said that a refugee athlete would carry the Olympic torch during the Greek leg of the flame relay. Bach said he expected 5 to 10 refugee athletes to qualify for Olympics.
The Executive Board (EB) IOC created a team of Refugee Olympic Athletes for Rio 2016. The name of the team will be Team Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA). ROA will be treated like all the other teams of the 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The nomination criteria for athletes included sporting level, official refugee status verified by the United Nations, and personal situation and background.
The final list of athletes will be named by the IOC executive board in June. The refugee team will march in the opening ceremony in Rio on August 5 just before the athletes from host Brazil.