This Olympic Team Is The Most Inspiring Yet

Ten refugees have taken on Rio 2016.

The world’s first Olympic refugee team has taken on Rio in a bid to “send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world” (IOC president Thomas Bach). Six men and four women will compete in swimming, judo and athletics, but with no country to represent, who are they?

Rami Anis


Who is he? 25-year-old Rami is a Syrian refugee who found shelter in Belgium after crossing the Mediterranean sea to Turkey.

Heat? Men’s 100m freestyle swim.

Result? Rami set a personal best and came 56th out of 59.

Yiech Pur Biel


Who is he? Yiech fled civil war in South Sudan to live in a refuge camp in Kenya. He stayed there for the next ten years where he began running competitively.

Heat? Men’s 800m sprint.

Result? He’s yet to race, but you can watch him compete on August 12th.

SEE: This Is What It’s Like To Be A Refugee

James Chiengjiek


Who is he? James was forced to leave his home in South Sudan to avoid being recruited as a child soldier. He found refuge in a Kenyan camp where he began running.

Heat? Men’s 400m sprint.

Result? James is still in prep for his heat on August 14th.

Paulo Amotun Lokoro


Who is he? Paulo was a cattle herder in South Sudan before he left to join his parents in Kenya.

Heat? Men’s 1500m sprint.

Result? Pending. Paulo will participate on August 16th.

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith (left) and Rose Nathike Lokonyen (right)

Anjelina Nadai Lohalith (left) and Rose Nathike Lokonyen (right)

Who is she? 21-year-old Anjelina had ties cut with her family when she was seperated from them in South Sudan aged six.

Heat? Women’s 1500m sprint.

Result? We’ve still got until August 13th to see Anjelina compete.

SEE: The Story Of These Refugee Women Will Inspire You

Rose Nathike Lokonyen


Who is she? South Sudanese Rose has been running without shoes since she fled her native country aged ten. She has since been competing at a refugee camp in Kenya.

Heat? Women’s 800m sprint.

Result? We’ve got until August 14th when Rose will compete to find out.

Yonas Kinde


Who is he? Yonas left Ethiopia due to political problems and has been living in Luxembourg since 2013. He has a marathon time of two hours 17 minutes.

Heat? Men’s marathon.

Result? Yonas has until the Olympic Games’ very last day on August 21st to prepare.

Yolanda Mabika


Who is she? Yolande is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo but fled three years ago to live in Rio and escape the civil war. She recalls being picked up by a helicopter at a young age who took her to a centre for displaced children.

Heat? Judo.

Result? She was knocked out in the first round of the -70kg heat by Israel’s Linda Bolder.

SEE: The Olympic Power Couples Setting Serious Relationship Goals

Yusra Mardini


Who is she? Mardini used her swimming talents to rescue 20 people in a boat fleeing Syria. She helped them survive the journey to Germany.

Heat? Women’s 100m butterfly.

Result? Unfortunately she wasn’t quick enough to go through to the next round.

Popole Misenga


Who is he? Misenga was found wandering a rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo aged six after his mother was murdered. He was taken to the country’s capital but sought asylum in Brazil in 2013.

Heat? Judo.

Result? Popole Misenga beat India’s Avtar Singh in his opening match, but then lost to South Korea’s Gwak Dong-han.