Refugee Olympic Team at the
Athletes compete under the Olympic flag.
Summer appearances

The Refugee Olympic Team is a group made up of independent Olympic participants who are refugees. In March 2016, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach announced the creation of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team, as a symbol of hope for all refugees in the world in order to raise global awareness of the scale of the migrant crisis in Europe. In September 2017, the IOC established the Olympic Refugee Foundation to supporting refugees over the long term.[1][2]

The Olympic flag and the Olympic Hymn are used as team symbols. The participating athletes marched in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics, with the team entering the stadium as the penultimate delegation, just before the host country. At the 2020 Summer Olympics, the team entered the stadium second only to Greece.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics, the team used the IOC country code ROT, but at the 2020 Summer Olympics this was changed to EOR for French Équipe olympique des réfugiés. As of 2022, no refugee Olympic athletes had participated in the Winter Olympic Games.

The team was awarded the 2022 Princess of Asturias Award for Sport for giving athletes the opportunity in conflict zones and places where human rights are violated, preventing them from performing their sporting and personal activities.[3]


This category was created in March 2016. The selection criteria include the sporting level, the official refugee status verified by the United Nations, the personal situation, and the background of each athlete.

2016 Summer Olympics

Main article: Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics

Athlete Country of origin Host NOC Sport Event
James Chiengjiek  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 400 m
Yiech Biel  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 800 m
Paulo Lokoro  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 1500 m
Yonas Kinde  Ethiopia  Luxembourg Athletics Marathon
Popole Misenga  Democratic Republic of Congo  Brazil Judo 90 kg
Rami Anis  Syria  Belgium Swimming 100 m butterfly
Rose Lokonyen  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 800 m
Anjelina Lohalith  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 1500 m
Yolande Mabika  Democratic Republic of Congo  Brazil Judo 70 kg
Yusra Mardini  Syria  Germany Swimming 100 m butterfly

2020 Summer Olympics

Main article: Refugee Olympic Team at the 2020 Summer Olympics

At its meeting in Buenos Aires in October 2018, the International Olympic Committee decided to establish the Refugee Olympic Team (EOR) for the 2020 Summer Olympics. This decision built on the legacy of the Refugee Olympic Team in 2016 and was part of the IOC's commitment to play its part in addressing the global refugee crisis and in carrying the message of solidarity and hope to millions of refugee athletes around the world.

The IOC Session tasked Olympic Solidarity with establishing the conditions of participation and defining the team identification and selection process. These elements were carried out in close collaboration with the National Olympic Committees, the International Sports Federations, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). On 20 June 2019, the IOC released the list of Refugee Athlete Scholarship holders who wished to join the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, Tokyo 2020. This announcement was made on World Athlete Day, celebrated every year on 20 June.

The 46 Refugee Athlete Scholarship holders include the 10 athletes who were part of the first Refugee Olympic Team in 2016, new individual athletes, and a group of athletes preparing at the Tegla Loroupe Refugee Training Center in Kenya. They compete in nine sports. All were assisted by Olympic Solidarity as part of its support program for refugee athletes. Hailing from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria, refugee scholarship holders competed in athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, judo, karate, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Athlete Country of origin Host NOC Sport Event
Alaa Maso  Syria  Germany Swimming 50 m freestyle
Yusra Mardini  Syria  Germany Swimming 100 m butterfly
Dorian Keletela  Congo  Portugal Athletics 100 m
Rose Lokonyen  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 800 m
James Chiengjiek  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 800 m
Anjelina Lohalith  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 1500 m
Paulo Amotun Lokoro  South Sudan  Kenya Athletics 1500 m
Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed  Sudan  Israel Athletics 5000 m
Tachlowini Gabriyesos  Eritrea  Israel Athletics Marathon
Aram Mahmoud  Syria  Netherlands Badminton Men's singles
Wessam Salamana  Syria  Germany Boxing 63 kg
Eldric Sella  Venezuela  Trinidad and Tobago Boxing 75 kg
Saeid Fazloula  Iran  Germany Canoeing K-1 1000 m
Masomah Ali Zada  Afghanistan  France Cycling Time Trial
Ahmad Wais  Syria   Switzerland Cycling Time Trial
Sanda Aldass  Syria  Netherlands Judo Mixed team
Ahmad Alikaj  Syria  Germany Judo Mixed team
Muna Dahouk  Syria  Netherlands Judo Mixed team
Javad Mahjoub  Iran  Canada Judo Mixed team
Popole Misenga  DR Congo  Brazil Judo Mixed team
Nigara Shaheen  Afghanistan  Russia Judo Mixed team
Wael Shueb  Syria  Germany Karate Kata
Hamoon Derafshipour  Iran  Canada Karate Kumite
Luna Solomon  Eritrea   Switzerland Shooting 10 m air rifle
Dina Pouryounes  Iran  Netherlands Taekwondo 49 kg
Kimia Alizadeh  Iran  Germany Taekwondo 57 kg
Abdullah Sediqi  Afghanistan  Belgium Taekwondo 68 kg
Cyrille Fagat Tchatchet II  Cameroon  United Kingdom Weightlifting 96 kg
Aker Al-Obaidi  Iraq  Austria Wrestling 67 kg

See also


  1. ^ "IOC Refugee Olympic Team". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  2. ^ "Refugee Olympic Team to Shine Spotlight On Worldwide Refugee Crisis". International Olympic Committee. 3 June 2016. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Refugee Olympic team awarded prestigious Spanish prize". The Washington Post. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 2 June 2022.