Olympics refugee team set to compete in Rio

By Daily Sports on August 2, 2016

Views: 720

Five athletes from South Sudan have described their chance to participate in the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro as a sign of hope, as they prepare to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team.

The team of six men and four women includes five athletes from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia.

They will compete in swimming, judo and athletics.

The athletes, most of whom fled the war in Sudan about ten years ago, were selected from a series of sports trials held at a the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya last year.

One of the athletes is hopeful that participating at the Games would send a positive message.

“I think it is a good moment for all the refugees, not only people who are participating because as we all know, we are representing the millions of refugees all over the world and it is a chance to show the refugees also that they can do something,” said 28-year-old James Chiengjiek who will compete in the 800 metres.

Team mate Yiech Pur Biel said he was sad at not being able to compete under his country’s flag, but hoped this would push his country’s leaders to make changes.

“Sometimes we feel so unhappy because now we are seeing our flag here in Brazil whereby we are not running under our flag of South Sudan,” he said.

“We can’t be here in Brazil running under the South Sudan flag, and I call upon the other nations to help our country because maybe (by the) 2020 Olympics we can run (under) our national flag of South Sudan because we are eager to set up our young talented South Sudanese,” added Biel, who will also run in the 800 metres and  arriving in the Kenyan camp aged 11, without his immediate family.

Rio’s Olympics opens this Friday and will run until August 21, they are the first to include a team entirely of refugees which will compete under the Olympic flag.

•Culled from channelstv.com

 

Source Daily Sports

Posted August 2, 2016

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