Two cyclists on the refugee team for the Olympic Games
Wed Jun 9, 2021 at 12:38
Two cyclists are part of the refugee team competing in the Tokyo Olympics. It belongs to the Afghan Masoumeh Alizadeh and the Syrian Ahmad Badr al-Din Wais. This was announced by the International Olympic Committee. The two players will compete in time trial on July 28.
The IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo is made up of 29 athletes and 10 women and 19 men who compete in 12 sports and are supported by 13 National Olympic Committees. This summer, the team will spread a message of hope and solidarity and draw attention to more than 80 million refugees worldwide. At the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, a refugee team was formed for the first time. The refugee team goes out under the Olympic flag.
Team selection depends on a number of criteria. In addition to sporting achievements, all athletes must have official refugee status confirmed by the United Nations Refugee Agency. The balanced distribution of sport, gender and region was also considered. At the opening ceremony on July 23 in Tokyo, the athletes were the second to enter the Olympic Stadium after the Greek team.
Masoumeh Alizadeh fled Afghanistan in 2016. The 25-year-old was granted asylum in France and worked for the Games with the help of a refugee athlete grant from the International Olympic Committee. She is the first ever Afghan female contestant to compete in the Games. We have already met the Syrian Ahmed Badreddin Wais who fled his country in 2014 several times at the World Championships. In 2010, he was the first Suri ever to compete in the Cycling World Championships. From 2017 to 2020, he shared the World Championship experience with elite riders. This will also be his first Olympic Games.
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