Refugee Group for Paris Olympics has 36 athletes from 11 international locations throughout 12 sports activities

The Refugee Group for the Paris Olympics will characteristic 36 athletes from 11 international locations in 12 sports activities.

They have been picked from greater than 70 scholarships, Worldwide Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach stated on the group announcement on Thursday.

As a substitute of competing below the Olympic flag, the refugees have their very own emblem that includes a coronary heart at its centre, surrounded by arrows symbolizing how misplaced refugees can discover their method again. The group will probably be identified below the acronym EOR from the French title Equipe Olympique des Refugies.

“Having our personal emblem creates a way of belonging, and empowers us to additionally stand for the inhabitants of greater than 100 million individuals who share this similar expertise,” stated Masomah Ali Zada of Afghanistan, the group chef de mission who competed in girls’s biking on the Tokyo Video games. “I can not wait to put on it proudly.”

A complete of 23 males and 13 girls will compete in athletics, badminton, boxing, breaking, canoeing, biking, judo, taking pictures, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling on the Video games beginning on July 24.

Among the many athletes is Nigara Shaheen, a judo athlete who trains in Toronto.

Shaheen, 30, is from Afghanistan and grew up in Pakistan and moved to Toronto to coach and attend school after competing for the refugee group in Tokyo’s 2021 Olympic Video games.

‘My Olympic dream is coming true’

Shaheen competed within the girls’s 70-kilogram class in Tokyo.

Kasra Mehdipournejad, an Iranian taekwondo athlete dwelling in Germany, and shooter Edilio Francisco Centeno Nieves from Venezuela are among the many males on the group.

“My Olympic dream is coming true,” Mehdipournejad stated.

She moved to Toronto to coach and attend school after competing for the refugee group in Tokyo in 2021 within the girls’s girls’s 70-kilogram class.

“Paris 2024 is essential as a refugee athlete, particularly with the present world state of affairs,” Shaheen stated Thursday in an announcement. “It’s a probability for us to show that refugees may be an asset too and I’ll put it to use to the fullest.”

She is amongst seven refugee athletes in Canada hosted by the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“An Olympian who stands up for what she believes in, Shaheen can be a decided and spectacular advocate for girls’s rights,” COC president Tricia Smith stated.

“Her inspiring journey from Afghanistan to Canada provides hope to others and is a testomony to resilience and the transformative energy of sport.”

The refugee group was created by the IOC for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to permit athletes to maintain competing, even when they’ve been pressured to depart their house international locations.

There have been 10 athletes in Rio, with Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini changing into the primary to compete. Three years in the past in Tokyo the quantity was 29 throughout 12 sports activities.

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