The International Olympic Committee on March 2 gave refugees the green light to participate in the upcoming Olympics.
A team of up to 10 refugees will participate in the games, competing under the IOC flag. The 2016 Games kick off in Brazil on Aug. 15.
"The final number of athletes that would make up this team depends of qualification criteria," said committee President Thomas Bach after a meeting of the body's executive committee."I can just give you my feeling, but I believe that this team could feature between five and 10 athletes.”
"We have all been touched by the magnitude of this refugee crisis,” he added. “By welcoming this team, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees in the world."
Among the athletes who could compete are a Syrian swimmer, currently living in Germany; a judoka from the Democratic Republic of Congo, now in Brazil; and an Iranian taekwondo fighter, now training in Belgium.
The IOC’S decision to allow refugees to participate in the games is indeed a great news, since it just goes to prove that they are no less than first world citizens and deserve equal opportunities.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Sergio Moraes