IOC unveils refugee team for Tokyo Games

NHK -- Jun 09
The International Olympic Committee has announced that 29 refugee athletes will take part in the Tokyo Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach unveiled the refugee team at an online news conference on Tuesday.

The team is made up of 19 men and 10 women. Nine of them are originally from Syria. Five are from Iran, four from South Sudan and three from Afghanistan.

By sport, track and field has the most refugees with seven, followed by judo with six and taekwondo with three.

Six people, including judo athlete Popole Misenga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will take part in two Summer Olympics in a row.

Bach said when the refugee athletes and others come from all over the globe, "it will send a powerful message of solidarity, resilience and hope to the world."

The refugee team is due to gather in Qatar on July 12 and leave for Japan two days later.

Waseda University in Tokyo will provide accommodation and training facilities for the team.

The IOC formed the first-ever refugee team at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games with 10 athletes.

It has since founded a scholarship program to support refugee athletes' training and everyday lives. Now 56 people are receiving grants under the program.

- NHK