Refugee Paralympic Team at the
2020 Summer Paralympics
Paralympic flag (2019).svg
IPC codeRPT
NPCRefugee Paralympic Team
in Tokyo, Japan
Competitors6 in 4 sports
Flag bearers Alia Issa, Abbas Karimi
Medals
Gold
0
Silver
0
Bronze
0
Total
0
Summer Paralympics appearances
Other related appearances
 Individual Paralympic Athletes (2016)

The Refugee Paralympic Team, previously the Independent Paralympic Athletes Team, competed at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, from 24 August to 5 September 2021. The team consisted of six refugee and asylee Paralympic athletes who represent the estimated 82 million refugees in the world. The formation of the team and its six athletes was announced on 30 June 2021 in a joint statement by the IPC and UNHCR.[1][2] The team had made its debut at the previous edition of the Paralympics that consisted of just two athletes. That team was considered coordinated and was referred to as "the first".[3] The team was the first to enter the Japan National Stadium during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony.[1][2]

Representation

The team do not represent any particular country; they represent the estimated 82 million people around the world who are refugees. The UNHCR estimates that 12 million of the 82 million refugees have disabilities. The team was welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.[1][2]

Participation

The team was announced on 30 June 2021 by the International Paralympic Committee. American swimmer Ileana Rodriguez was chosen to lead the Refugee Paralympic Team as the chef de mission. Rodriguez was supposed to have the honour of carrying the flag in the opening ceremony's parade of nations[4] but it was actually carried by Karimi and Issa. Rodriguez noted that it was appropriate that refugees should be represented at the Paralympics as they had been founded by Ludwig Guttmann who was himself a refugee.[5]

Athlete Country of Origin Residence Sport Event
Ibrahim Al Hussein  Syria Athens, Greece Para swimming Men's 50m freestyle S9
Men's 100 m breaststroke SB8
Alia Issa  Syria Athens, Greece Para athletics Women's Club throw F32
Parfait Hakizimana  Burundi Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda Para taekwondo Men's K44 -61 kg
Abbas Karimi  Afghanistan Fort Lauderdale, USA Para swimming Men's 50m backstroke S5
Men's 50m backstroke S5
Anas Al Khalifa  Syria Halle, Germany Para canoe Men's Va'a Single 200m - KL2
Men's Va'a Single 200m - VL2
Shahrad Nasajpour  Iran Phoenix, USA Para athletics Men's Discus F37
[1][2]

All athletes are new to the Paralympics except Ibrahim Al Hussein[6] and Shahrad Nasajpour[7] who competed in 2016.

Number of competitors by event

The following lists the number of competitors by event and gender.

Sport Men Women Total
Athletics 1 1 2
Paracanoeing 1 0 1
Swimming 2 0 2
Taekwondo 1 0 1
Total 5 1 6

Athletics

Main article: Athletics at the 2020 Summer Paralympics

Athlete Event Result Rank
Alia Issa Women's club throw F32 16.33 8
Shahrad Nasajpour Men's Discus throw F37 42.25 8

Paracanoeing

Main article: Paracanoeing at the 2020 Summer Paralympics

Athlete Event Heats Semi-final Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Anas Al Khalifa Men's Kayak KL1 57.010 6 SF 53.654 5 FB 54.265 3
Men's Va'a VL2 1:04.658 6 SF 1:01.467 5 Did not advance

Swimming

Main article: Swimming at the 2020 Summer Paralympics

Athlete Event Heats Final
Time Rank Time Rank
Ibrahim Al Hussein Men's 50 m freestyle S9 30.27 23 Did not advance
Men's 100 m breaststroke SB8 DSQ Did not advance
Abbas Karimi Men's 50 m butterfly S5 36.36 5 Q 38.16 8
Men's 50 m backstroke S5 46.48 15 Did not advance

Taekwondo

Main article: Taekwondo at the 2020 Summer Paralympics

Athlete Event Round of 16 Quarterfinals Repechage 1 Semifinals Repechage 2 Final / BM
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Opposition
Result
Rank
Parfait Hakizimana Men's -61 kg  Torquato (BRA)
L 4-27
Did not advance  Bozteke (TUR)
L WD
Did not advance

Sponsorship

The team is supported by the IPC organizationally, but financially they are sponsored by AirBNB.[1][2] AirBNB cover the costs of the team and this allows the athletes to concentrate on their training. AirBNB have a new department to support the team and they run an on-line forum where the athletes talk about their lives.[3] ASICS are supplying the team's outfits as this adds to their sense of identity. This is particularly important as each of them cannot use the flags of the nation where they were born. UNHCR also assist and one of the team's athletes, Abbas Karimi, has been made a UNHCR "High-Profile Supporter".[3]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "IPC announces six athletes to compete for the Refugee Paralympic Team at Tokyo 2020". Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "IPC announces six athletes to compete for the Refugee Paralympic Team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games". UNHCR. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "Building the first Refugee Paralympic Team | sportanddev.org". www.sportanddev.org. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Refugee Paralympic Team for Tokyo 2020 announced | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News". NHK WORLD. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Building the first Refugee Paralympic Team | sportanddev.org". www.sportanddev.org. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Rio Paralympics: Two refugee Para-athletes named for Rio Paralympics". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Shahrad Nasajpour – Athletics | Paralympic Athlete Profile". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 4 July 2021.