The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will have one big difference this year: the inclusion of a team made up entirely of refugees.
The refugees come from all over the world and have been allowed to compete in the games under the offical Olympic flag.
There are significant logistics to deal with as most of the refugees don’t have a passport anymore, but the team is going full steam ahead with the support of the Olympic committee.
The team was put together after the Olympic committee became aware there was a significant number of athletes around the world who had been displaced due to wars in their home countries.
A large amount of the refugees come from Middle Eastern countries that have been ravaged by fighting over the past few years, forcing residents to flee elsewhere.
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While the Olympics are traditionally a play for athletes to compete for their home countries, it’s hoped this new team will give refugees a chance at Olympic glory.
Australia has nominated several athletes to be part of Team Refugee, but the Olympic committee is still searching for more.
Fiona de Jong, the CEO of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said Australia had put forth a number of excellent candidates for the team.
“I think the latest is something like 7 million people, and then the other statistic that I became aware of is the average time they spend in a refugee camp is about 17 years,” Ms de Jong told the ABC.
“So you can imagine some amongst those population of people may well of once had ambitions of going to an Olympic Games and pursuing a particular sport.
“And so to their credit the IOC recognised that and thought, well why should they be denied the opportunity to pursue their dream and their talents because they don’t happen to have a passport?”
Do you like the idea of Team Refugee at the Olympics? Will you tune in to watch them compete?