Olympic Games refugees team unveiled

Yusra Mardini
Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini will compete at Rio 2016 as part of the first Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes

The International Olympic Committee has unveiled its first team of refugees to compete at Rio 2016 under the Olympic banner.

The Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes has 10 members – five from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from DR Congo and one from Ethiopia.

The six men and four women will compete in swimming, judo and athletics.

“These refugee athletes have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

“The invention of this refugee team is to give them a home in the Olympic village together with all the athletes around the world.”

The team includes swimmer Yusra Mardini from Syria, who trains in Germany, South Sudanese middle-distance runner Rose Nathike Lokonyen, who is living in a refugee camp in Kenya, and DR Congo judoka Yolande Bukasa Mabika, who trains in Brazil.

They will enter the opening ceremony as the penultimate team, before hosts Brazil.

Bach added: “It can send a symbol of hope for all refugees in the world and can send a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society.”

The Olympics run from 5-21 August.