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We can all root for a team of refugees at Rio’s Summer Olympics

refugees team rio olympics

There will be a team of refugees in Rio. (Brian John Godfrey/Flickr)

This summer you'll have a new team to root for in the Rio Olympics: a team of refugees.

The International Olympic Committee officially created a team called Refugee Olympic Athletes, or ROA. 43 athletes were identified, but the team hasn't been finalized, so we can't introduce you to the athletes just yet. But some of the possible contenders are:

- Yusra Mardini, a Syrian swimmer now living in Germany.
- Rahele Asemani, an Iranian taekwondo martial artist now in Belgium.
- Yolande Mabika, a judoka (judo expert) from Democratic Republic of Congo who is now in Brazil.

Refugees have fled unbearably miserable lives in their own war-torn countries to seek better lives elsewhere.

IOC President Thomas Bach says the team will get its own welcome during the Olympic entrance ceremony:

"By welcoming ROA to the Olympic Games in Rio, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world. This team will be treated like all the other teams.”

This isn't all the IOC is doing to support refugees in the current refugee crisis, which is dire. The IOC has also donated $2 million for sports projects to help refugees.

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We can all root for a team of refugees at Rio’s Summer Olympics

Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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