The First-Ever Refugee Olympics Team Is Off To Make History

Five runners from South Sudan, who live in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp, will take part in first-ever refugee Olympic team.

In March, the International Olympic Committee allowed, for the first time ever, a refugee team to participate in the upcoming games in Rio de Janeiro.

A unique team of up to 10 athletes will compete in the games and represent millions of other refugees under a unified IOC flag.

Five runners are from South Sudan, who trained in Kenya for about a year, and one is from Ethiopia. The rest include two swimmers from Syria and two judokas from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"I feel very excited. This is the first chance for the refugees to participate in the Olympics and to give us hope, for us to encourage the young generations of fellow refugees,” Rose Nathike, 800-meter runner from South Sudan for refugee Olympic team, told Reuters.

"We're going to meet with so many people, it's not me alone who's going to be running so we're going to meet the world,” Paulo Lokoro, another South Sudanese 1500-meter runner for refugee Olympic team, added.

The five South Sudanese athletes left Nairobi for Rio on July 28 and will join nearly 11, 000 competitors for the opening ceremony on Aug. 5.

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