Subscribe to get full access to all our content
interactive news
Refugee Olympic Team Makes History
Crowd gives refugee Olympians a standing ovation at the Parade of Nations (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 677)
Aug 8, 2016 Sports
A
A
A

Ten young men and women who fled their countries looking for a safe place to stop. Ten talented athletes who never gave up. This August the first-ever refugee team is competing at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. 10 refugee athletes from four countries have come together as the Refugee Olympic Team. They include two Syrian swimmers, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a marathoner from Ethiopia and five middle-distance runners from South Sudan. The fact that they are there at all is a tribute to the courage and perseverance of all refugees around the world, at a time when the number of displaced people has reached 60 million, the highest level in more than 50 years.

Since the modern Olympics began in 1896, over 200 national teams have tried for glory at the Summer and Winter Games. Now, for the first time, a team of refugees is taking part too. Here you can see the team getting to know each other and getting to know Rio, the host city for this year's Olympic Games. Today's news introduces you to a few of this team. People who have had not only to prepare for the challenge of their individual sport, but also to face the challenge of setting up a new life in a new country.

Meet Team Refugees: Rami Anis, 25, Syria, 100-metre butterfly. "Swimming is my life," Rami says. "The swimming pool is my home." As life became too dangerous in Aleppo, his family sent him to Turkey to live for a while. "I thought I would be in Turkey for a couple of months and then return to my country." As months turned to years, he joined a sports club and swam. Determined to prove himself, Rami rode an inflatable dinghy to the Greek island of Samos. At last he reached the Belgian town of Ghent, where he's been training nine times a week. "With the energy I have, I am sure I can achieve the best results," he says. "It is a great feeling to be part of the Olympics. "

TeamRefugees: Yolande Mabika, 28, Democratic Republic of the Congo, judo middleweight. Fighting in the Congo separated Yolande from her parents when she was a young child. She remembers little else but running until she was picked up by a helicopter that took her to the capital, Kinshasa. There, living in a centre for displaced children, she discovered judo. "Judo never gave me money, but it gave me a strong heart," she says. "I got separated from my family and used to cry a lot. I started with judo to have a better life." Now, as refugee in Brazil, she has won a spot on the Refugee Olympic Athlete team. "I will be part of this team and I will win a medal. I am a competitive athlete. Perhaps my family will see me and we will reunite."

TeamRefugees: Yusra Mardini, 18, Syria, 200-metre freestyle. Escaping war-torn Syria in a tiny boat, the vessel started sinking but Yusra knew what to do. The teenager slipped into the water with her sister, Sarah, and began pushing the boat towards Greece. "There were people who didn't know how to swim. It would have been shameful if the people on our boat had drowned. I wasn't going to sit there and complain that I would drown." After arriving in Germany she started training with a swimming club in Berlin. Now she will compete in the women's 200-metre freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, as part of the Refugee Olympic Athletes team. "I want to represent all the refugees because I want to show everyone that, after the pain, after the storm, comes calm days," she says. "I want to inspire them to do something good in their lives."

The young athletes, originally from South Sudan, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, have found friends and admirers in Brazil with their amazing tales of overcoming incredible difficulty and coming out winners, with or without medals.

Including the 2016 Olympics, how many times have refugee teams competed?
Twice
Once
Three times
Five times
Related Articles
Dahlmeier Becomes 1st Athlete To Win 2 Medals At PyeongChang
Feb 13, 2018
Nagasu Makes History As First American Woman To Land Triple Axel At Olympics
Feb 13, 2018
'Me Too' Movement Is Warming Up
Feb 9, 2018
Mikaela Shiffrin Is Once Again On Top
Dec 20, 2017
New Zealand's World Cup Dream Is Over
Nov 17, 2017
Roger Federer Wins Record-Breaking Eighth Wimbledon Singles Title
Jul 16, 2017
Oldest Tennis Tournament In The World
Jul 2, 2017
Emirates Team New Zealand Wins the 35th America's Cup
Jun 26, 2017
Kiwis Qualify For America's Cup 2017 Finals
Jun 8, 2017
35th America's Cup in Bermuda - "It's full-on and it's mind-blowing"
Jun 6, 2017
Queen's Birthday Weekend 2017 And Queen Goes To Races
Jun 4, 2017
Battle Between China's Go Champion and An AI Machine Begins
May 24, 2017
101-year-old Athlete Lands In New Zealand For Masters Games
Apr 23, 2017
Hamilton Takes Formula One Win In China
Apr 9, 2017
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Golf Venue Votes To Admit Women As Full Members
Mar 20, 2017
Long And Pointless, Or Pushing It To The Limit?
Feb 27, 2017
Freezin' For A Reason: Alaskans Jump Into Ice-cold Water In Annual Event
Dec 19, 2016
Champion Skier Wins An Unusual Prize - A Reindeer
Nov 28, 2016
Many Children Get Little To No Exercise And Fitness Levels Are Falling, Says Survey
Nov 20, 2016
World Ironman Championship Is The Ultimate Test
Oct 12, 2016
American woman rides bike 147 mph, a new world record
Sep 20, 2016
NZ comes first in medals, per head of population
Sep 13, 2016
Olympic Horses Travel Business Class
Aug 16, 2016
Refugee Olympic Team Makes History
Aug 8, 2016
Formula E Finishes Season In London
Jul 4, 2016
Euro 2016 Kicks Off
Jun 12, 2016
Dragon Boat Festival
Jun 6, 2016
Wingboard Might Be New Extreme Sport
May 20, 2016
China Committed to Soccer
May 14, 2016
London Marathon 2016
May 1, 2016
Kobe Bryant, NBA Star, Retires
Apr 23, 2016
What is Rugby?
Apr 6, 2016
All Blacks Win Team of the Year
Apr 6, 2016
Briton Wins Tour De France
Feb 6, 2016

ad-mire

regard (an object, quality, or person) with respect or warm approval


v.欣赏/羡慕

a-ma-zing

makes you surprised


adj.惊人

ath-letes

persons good at sport


n.运动员

ca-pi-tal

a city where the government of a country or region sits


n.首都

chal-lenge

a call to take part in a contest


n.挑战

com-pete

able to be as good as others

 


v.竞争

com-pe-ti-tive

having a strong desire to succeed


adj.竞争的

com-plain

show unhappiness about an event or situation


v.抱怨

cult

something really popular amongst a group of people


n.礼拜    

dan-ger

something likely to cause harm or injury


n.危险

dan-ge-rous

likely to cause harm or injury, not safe


adj.危险

dem-o-crat-ic

of, relating to, or supporting democracy or its principles


adj.民主的

de-ter

discourage (someone) from doing something, usually through fear of consequences


v.阻止/吓住

de-ter-mine

cause something to happen in a certain way


v.确定/决定/下决心

dif-fi-cult

hard, not easy


adj.困难

dis-co-vered

found, uncovered


v.发现    

dis-placed

pushed out, not able to stay / without a home or country


v, adj.顶替

e-di-ble

OK to eat


adj.食用

e-ner-gy

strength needed to get stuff done


n.精力/能源

fled

ran away from danger


v.逃离

he-li-cop-ter

an aircraft with horizontal blades to give lift


n.直升机

host

to hold or organise


v.主办

in-cre-di-ble

difficult to believe, amazing


adj.难以置信/荒诞

in-di-vi-dual

single, one


adj.个人/个体

in-fla-ta-ble

blown up with air, such as a boat


adj.充气

in-spire

to do something creative


v.启发

ju-do

a sport of fighting without weapons    


n.柔道

ma-ra-thon

a long-distance running race


n.马拉松

O-lym-pics

international sports meeting held every four years


n.奥运会

o-ri-gi-nal

the first


adj.原始/原版的

o-ri-gi-nal-ly

in the beginning, at first


adv.本来/原来

per-se-ve-rance

sticking with something even when it is difficult

 


n.毅力

pre-sent

to deliver or put forward something / now, at this point in time


v,n.呈现/现在

 

ta-len-ted

having natural skill


adj.天才

tri-bute

show respect or liking for someone


n.感谢辞/礼物

ves-sel

a ship or large boat


n.船只

war-torn

a place ruined by war


adj.遭战争破坏的

weight

how heavy something is


n.重量