On Friday, at the Olympics opening ceremony of #TeamRefugees, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first ever team of refugee athletes received a standing ovation. It is the first time ever in Olympic history that a Refugee Olympic Team will be competing. They hope that the #TeamRefugees will bring attention to the worldwide refugee crisis. There are 10 athletes that are a part of this team who are from South Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Syria. They have been picked in three sports – athletics, swimming and judo. The athletes marched with the Olympic flag immediately before host nation Brazil at Friday’s opening ceremony.
IOC president Thomas Bach said “These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem. We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the world. The Olympic anthem will be played in their honour and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium. “This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis. It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society. These refugee athletes will show the world that, despite the unimaginable tragedies they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through their talent, skills and strength of the human spirit.”