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Olympic refugees: it all started with Mardini

by archysport

Yusra Mardini

It is the day that opens up new hope. There is the announcement of the 29 members of the refugee team at the Tokyo Olympics. Among the athletes, who compete in 12 sports, a gold medal in Rio 2016, who left Iran. The team, selected by the IOC, is made up of athletes who fled their home countries and obtained scholarships to train in a new country for the Games. Among them is Kimia Alizadeh, the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal. He took bronze in taekwondo at the age of 18. Alizadeh lives in Germany after escaping from the Tehran regime. The 29 athletes, up from the 10 who made up the team at the Rio Games, are from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela. They will compete in swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, canoeing, cycling, judo, karate, shooting, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling. “You are an integral part of our Olympic community and we welcome you with open arms, you will send a powerful message of solidarity, resilience and hope to the world.” The team will be managed in Tokyo by IOC officials and UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Former marathon world record holder, Tegla Loroupe, will lead the team as he did in Rio. Six of the ten members of the refugee team in Rio 2016 will be at the Games, they are the swimmer Yusra Mardini, the judoka Popole Misenga and the runners Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, James Nyang Chiengjiek, Paulo Amotu. The IOC Refugee Olympic Team was established in 2015 thanks to the collaboration between the IOC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and is supported through the Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes program. According to the latest estimate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2020 there were over 80 million people forced to leave their homes due to wars and conflicts. Of these, 26 million reside abroad with refugee status. Niccolò Campriani, three-time Olympic rifle champion, was included in the Refugee Olympic Team, the Olympic refugee team, for the Tokyo Olympics. Campriani, 33, will lead Luna Solomon, an Eritrean refugee in Switzerland, in the 10 meters. Campriani is one of the 20 technicians of the Olympic refugee team which includes 19 men and 10 women. Emblematic is the story of the Mardini, who escaped with her sister in a rubber dinghy and saved many lives from near-shipwreck in a stormy sea, then repaired to Germany. After Rio she also participated in the World Cup and became the protagonist of films and books. The IOC said the athletes of the 13 host national Olympic committees will compete in 12 sports at the Games that kick off on 23 July. They will compete under the Olympic flag and march second behind Greece at the opening ceremony of the Games.

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The Japanese government is considering vaccinating the 70,000 volunteers who will participate in Tokyo, in an attempt to increase the level of security against the risk of coronavirus infection. This was stated by the Minister of Sport with the delegation to the Games, Tamayo Marukawa, during a parliamentary session, when there are less than 50 days to go before the opening ceremony of the event, and in the midst of an immunization campaign that – despite the recent progress – is still lagging behind that of Western countries. To date, around 9% of the population (126 million inhabitants) in Japan has received a first dose of the vaccine.

We also talked about Mardini here: https://questionedistile.gazzetta.it/2021/04/16/la-mardini-in-gara-a-berlino-e-wellbrock-ci-riprova-tra-pensieri-agli-azzurri -and-distractions-with-the-bulldog / # comment-4953

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