Refugee Olympians in Action: Day 11

Its a dream to compete at the OlympicsThe modern Olympic Games or Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost and biggest sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. Since 2016 (at Rio), the International Olympic Committee has created the Refugee Olympic Team, and the Paralympic Refugees Team.

Aker Al Obaidi is an Iraqi Greco-Roman wrestler currently based in Austria. He was selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete for the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Aker Al Obaidi
Aker Al Obaidi is a Greco Roman wrestler

Al Obaidi started wrestling at age 6 and continued until 14 when he was forced to leave his home in Mosul, Iraq.

Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed (born 25 August 1993) is a Sudanese-born runner competing internationally over 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed
Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed is a South Sudanese runner

In 2003, when he was 10 years old, members of the Janjaweed militia came to burned down his village and killed 97 people, including his father. In 2010 he fled the violence in Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region aged 17, and Mohammed spent three days crossing the Sinai Desert from Egypt to Israel on foot, where he was eventually granted refugee protection. He found employment in Tel-Aviv and joined a running club, The Alley Runners in 2014. finished 40th in his European Cross Country Champion Clubs Cup debut in 2017, 30th in 2018 and 22nd in the 2019 edition on 3 February in Albufeira, Portugal. Nineteen days later he improved his road Personal Best to 29:37 when he finished second in a 10km in Tel Aviv. He made his Athlete Refugee Team debut at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus in 2019.

Mohammed was one of 29 athletes across 12 disciplines who representing the refugee Olympic team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Paulo Amotun Lokoro is a South Sudanese track and field athlete now living in Kenya. He specializes in the 1500 metres event. Lokoro was selected as one of the ten members of the Refugee Olympic Team for the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Paulo Amotun Lokoro
Paulo Amotun Lokoro is a South Sudanese track and field athlete


Originally a cattle farmer in southern Sudan, he fled his home to Kenya in 2006 to escape a war.


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#UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency


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©2020 – The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games



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