A Team of Athletes with No Nation

A Team of Athletes with No Nation

In a first, 10 refugee athletes will march as a team behind the white Olympic flag when the Rio de Janeiro Games open on Friday. The Olympic refugees are superb athletes, and expectations are for more than a mere medal from them.



The team includes five athletes from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Democratic Republic of Congo and one from Ethiopia. The six men and four women will compete in swimming, judo and athletics.

Meet a few of them below.



Popole Misenga, now settled in Brazil will be competing in judo. He hasn't seen his family left behind in Congo for 15 years. Keeping him company will be Yolande Mabika who fled Congo.





Yusra Mardini and Rami Anis are competitive swimmers who fled Syria years to escape the domestic strife. They still dream of competing for their country of birth — maybe the next time.



James Nyang Chiengjiek from South Sudan will compete in the 400m run and fellow athlete Rose Nathike Lokonyen, in the 800m run.



The entire team was surprised to be taking part in the Games. For all of these athletes, being on the refugee team means representing something bigger than their native country or national flag.
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