Bach: Refugee Olympic team can provide hope


International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said the inclusion of up to 10 refugees in the Rio Games can send a message of hope for others who have fled their country.

The Executive Board (EB) of the IOC on Wednesday announced that between five and 10 athletes will represent Team Refugee Olympic Athletes [Team ROA] in Brazil this year.

Forty-three candidates have been picked out as contenders to compete for Team ROA, who will march behind the Olympic flag in front of host team Brazil at the Opening Ceremony.

Bach said: "By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world.

"Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic Anthem.

"They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees in the Olympic Village."