Refugees: Change starts with Sport

Refugee runnerThe International Olympic Committee has given opportunity and hope so 29 refugees to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. These 29 members of the Refugee Olympic Team represent 82 million refugees all over the world. May their participation, their discipline, their striving to give their best bring a renewed sense of hope and purpose to the world’s refugees.

Covid-19 forced schools and the Taekwondo centre to close, but 12 year old Zeinab kept training. She was determined to continue.

“We’re training at home so when lockdown ends we’ll have developed more skills” – Zeinab.

Whether at home, in the park, or the stadium – sport can change lives. We want more opportunities for refugees like Zeinab to be able to access sports and flourish in their chosen field.


Refugee - martial arts

“I’m so happy to represent the Refugee Olympic Team. No matter where I finished I’ve given hope and peace to 82 million refugees across the world…as well as hope to women across the world who’ve been told they shouldn’t cycle”

In her first ever time trial race, Masomah Ali Zada did us proud!


Refugee Olympic Team - Masomah Ali Zada

“Showing the world that refugees won’t give up easy and will keep on dreaming even after going through tough journeys.”

We thank our Goodwill Ambassador Yusra Mardini for everything she has done to inspire refugees all over the world. We cannot wait to see what she does next.


Refugee Goodwill Ambassador Yusra Mardini

“When I run I feel free”. Nazret and her family were forced to flee, running for their lives from their village in Eritrea. Today, she lives in Canada. And she still runs, but now it’s towards her dreams.

Running has been a constant in Nazret’s young life. At UNHCR, we want all refugee women and girls to fulfil their potential. To have access to sporting opportunities.


Refugee Runner Nazret

“I see a big future. I’m focused and see myself competing at the Paris games. For sure I will prepare as much as I can to make sure I’m ready to improve”

Badreddin Wais after competing in his first ever Olympic Race yesterday.


Refugee Olympic Team -  Badreddin Wais


UNHCR - Support the Refugee Olympic Team
#changestartswithsport #RefugeeOlympicTeam #Hope #OlympicRefuge #StrongerTogether #withrefugees #cheerforrefugees #UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
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©2020 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games



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