Sport and refugees weekly: 11 July 2021
Sport and refugees weekly: 11 July 2021
Want to know what's happening in the world of sport and refugees? Here are the top headlines for the week ending on 11 July 2021.
In Rio, one refugee and one asylee athlete made up a two-person Independent Paralympic Team, but they were not part of a coordinated team in the lead up to the Games. Inspired by the overwhelming response from fans and media alike, and with more financial support this time around, the IPC decided on a formal refugee team with six athletes for Tokyo. The first Refugee Paralympic Team has six athletes hailing from Syria, Burundi, Afghanistan, and Iran. To find out more, sportanddev spoke to Ileana Rodriguez, Chef de Mission of the Refugee Paralympic Team.
Syrian refugees Ibrahim Al Hussein, Alia Issa and Anas Al Khalifa, along with Parfait Hakizimana of Burundi, Abbas Karimi of Afghanistan and Shahrad Nasajpour of Iran are the six athletes making up the first Refugee Paralympic Team. They will march under the International Paralympic Flag during the opening ceremony and will lead the Parade of Nations as the first athletes to enter the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. For this team, they aren’t just competing for medals – they are an inspiration to others who have had to flee their countries, and advocates for the inclusion of both refugees and people with disabilities in all levels of sport.
Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was at the Swiss National Cycling Time Trials in Lausanne to support Badreddin Wais, a newly selected athlete part of the Refugee Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020. Wais, originally from Syria, is one of 29 members of the Refugee Olympic Team. Bach spoke with Wais to wish him luck and to give him a last push for the Games before he heads to Doha to meet the rest of his teammates, before going on to Tokyo.
Guor Marial was born in Sudan in 1984. When he was 8, he left his village to escape the civil war. He was captured by an armed group, but managed to flee to a refugee camp. In 2001, he made his way to the United States. Marial competed as an independent athlete at the London 2012 Olympics, completing the marathon. At the Rio 2016 Games, he competed in the marathon as part of South Sudan’s team, bearing the country’s flag in the opening ceremony. Marial spoke to journalists at Mainichi to discuss the Games, his experience as a refugee, as well as his perspectives on peace and discrimination.
The Myanmar national soccer team goalie who made a three-finger salute to protest the military coup in the country plans to apply for refugee status in Japan later this month. Pyae Lyan Aung has refused to return to Myanmar from Japan with his teammates, fearing for his life.
The Judo Association of Malawi, with support from the International Judo Federation, organised an Athlete Safeguarding Workshop at the Dzaleka refugee camp. The workshop aimed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to deal with issues of abuse and harassment in sport.
Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the world governing body for aquatic sports, has welcomed the selection of two swimmers for the Team and offered its full support. FINA has also welcomed the overall development of the Refugee Olympic Team programme, following its successful debut at Rio 2016.
Yusra Mardini and Alaa Maso are the two swimmers part of the Refugee Olympic Team. Mardini was also part of the pioneering Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016.
Masomah Alizada is part of the 29-member Refugee Olympic Team who will compete at the upcoming Tokyo Games. She fled her native Afghanistan for France when she and her cycling friends were threatened by the Taliban. The 24-year-old wants to show everyone that women can also cycle and wants to inspire other Afghan women to fight for their rights.
29 athletes have been selected for the Refugee Olympic Team for the upcoming Tokyo Games. The team members come from 11 countries and will participate in 12 different sports.
A badminton player from Syria, a road cyclist from Afghanistan and a long-distance runner from Sudan are among 29 athletes who will compete in Tokyo this summer as part of the 2020 Refugee Olympic Team. The team members, announced on Tuesday by the International Olympic Committee, represent 11 countries and will participate in 12 different sports. Six of the athletes on the team were part of the first Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016.
Iranian canoeist Saeid Fazloula did not qualify for the last two Olympics, but his efforts and training have paid off as he is now on the Refugee Olympic Team heading to Tokyo later this month. After fleeing Iran in 2015, Fazloula resettled in Germany. His fellow canoeists who he trains with have created a supportive environment for him, but he has had to deal with other obstacles, such as language barriers and a different training style in Germany.
This information has been compiled by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.