Heroic Reception in Kenya for 5 Members of #TeamRefugees
Nairobi, Kenya – It was an emotional afternoon filled with dance and jubilation as UNHCR, members of the press and fellow refugee athletes received five members of #TeamRefugees for 2016 Olympics back to Kenya from Rio de Janeiro.
“It was exciting to compete with professional athletes in Rio. It was a good experience and we have learnt a lot,” said an emotional Paulo Amotum Lokoro. “We had so much fun with the other members of the Refugee Olympic Team and we supported and cheered for each other.”
A legendary Kenyan athlete, Madam Tegla Loroupe – whose foundation runs a refugees’ athletics facility in Oloolua Ngong’ accompanied them together with the International Olympic Committee Official . Tegla and her team have been with the five athletes in Rio providing them with support and mentorship. Her training facility currently trains over twenty athletes.
The five Rio athletes formed a team of ten refugees who made history as members of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team to compete at Olympic Games. Despite having no national flags or national anthems to be played, they were welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic anthem.
It was exciting to compete with professional athletes in Rio. It was a good experience and we have learnt a lot.
Their participation in the Olympics was a tribute to the courage and perseverance of all refugees in overcoming adversity and building a better future for themselves and their families.