L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
August 2016

For the first time, a team of refugees is competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Backed by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the team was created to bring global attention to the magnitude of the global refugee crisis and act as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide. The initiative comes at a time when more people than ever – 65.3 million at last count – have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution.

The team of athletes includes two Syrian swimmers, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a marathoner from Ethiopia and five middle-distance runners from South Sudan. They all fled violence in their countries and sought refuge in places as wide-ranging as Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Kenya and Brazil.

Fit and set for an appointment with history, the 10 athletes will march under the Olympic flag ahead of host nation Brazil in the grand opening ceremony.