Saturday, June 4, 2016

Historic first at Olympics this summer

Worldwide, about 42,000 people are forced to leave their homes every 24 hours.  Last year about 60 million people were either refugees, asylum seekers, or displaced within their own countries. Few events create as much national pride as the Olympics, but refugee athletes cannot compete if they have no flag to march behind and no national anthem to play at opening ceremonies. That will change this summer at the Rio games.
This August, the 206 national delegations will be joined by a different kind of team. For the first time in history, Team ROA (Refugee Olympic Athletes) will represent all the refugees in the world. According to IOC president Thomas Bach, "These refugee athletes will be welcomed to the games with the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem. They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes in the Olympic Village. We want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world."

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