IOC Unveils Largest Refugee Team Ever for Paris 2024 Olympics

IOC

In a momentous declaration made today at the Olympic House in Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) introduced its most extensive Olympic Refugee Team ever for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Comprising 36 athletes hailing from 11 distinct countries, these individuals find themselves "hosted" by 15 different National Olympic Committees.

Representing nations such as Syria, Sudan, Iran, and Afghanistan, these athletes will vie for victory across 12 diverse sports in Paris, marking the third instance of such a team being assembled for the Summer Olympics.

IOC President Thomas Bach extended a warm welcome to all participants during the team's announcement ceremony, emphasising their invaluable contribution to both the Olympic Community and global societies. Bach expressed his conviction that their participation would serve as a testament to human resilience and excellence, offering a beacon of hope to over 100 million displaced individuals worldwide.

The IOC Olympic Refugee Team will debut a distinct emblem featuring a heart at its core, derived from the logo of the Olympic Refuge Foundation. The selection process for the team, endorsed by the IOC Executive Board, was meticulously conducted, considering factors such as athletic prowess and refugee status, verified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Balanced representation across sports and genders, as well as geographical diversity, were also pivotal considerations in forming the team.

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, lauded the Refugee Olympic Team as a testament to the resilience, courage, and hope of those displaced by conflict and persecution. He emphasised the transformative power of sport, providing solace, healing, and a sense of community to individuals amid adversity.

The inception of the Paris Olympics refugee team follows earlier initiatives, including the debut of the Refugee Olympic Team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which featured 10 athletes, and its expansion to 29 athletes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Source: Amna)

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