Road to Olympics 2016
Between mid-2015 and early 2016, the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation helped in the selection of 29 male and female athletes from South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and DRC through trials held at both Kakuma and Dadaab. The Foundation which is also supported by the International Olympics Committee (IOC) trained these athletes at a training facility in Ngong’ Nairobi.
On 19th May 2016, the Tegla Loroupe Foundation in collaboration with the National Olympics Committee organised trials for all athletes at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. From these trials, 10 of best performers were selected and their names were forwarded to the National Olympics Committee. The IOC then selected the five (5) refugee athletes from Kakuma to join the rest of the Refugee Olympics team in Rio de Jenairo.
In August 2016, refugee athletes competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in history. The announcement was made by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in October 2015. Despite having no national flags or national anthems to be played, the refugee athletes were welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic anthem.
The participation of refugees in the Olympics lies in Principle No. 4 of the Olympics Charter: “The practice of sports is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practising sports, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warmly welcomed the launch by the International Olympic Committee of the Olympic Refuge Foundation, with the aim of creating safe sport facilities and developing sport activities for refugee, displaced and vulnerable children.
“UNHCR is fully supportive of this excellent initiative, which will improve the life of thousands of displaced and disadvantaged children through sport,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who attended the official launch in Lima, Peru, and will become the Vice-Chairman of the Foundation.
Refugee athletes from Kenya are in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, ahead of the Asian Games 2017, which start in the capital, on Monday.
The five athletes competing are Pur Biel and Gai Nyang Tap who will compete in the 800 metres. Wiyual Deng, who will run in the 400 metres. And Paulo Amotun and Ukuk Uthoo who will compete in the 1500 and 3000 meters respectively.
They are all originally from South Sudan and have been living in Kenya as refugees.
Refugee athletes from Kenya to compete at World Athletics Championships in London for the first time
Refugee athletes from Kenya are heading to London to compete in the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Athletics Championships on August 4th. It is the first time in the 34-year history of the competition that refugees will take part.
Ahmed Bashir Farah, Anjelina Lohalith, Dominic Lobalu, Rose Lokonyen and Kadar Omar, will be participating under the Athletes Refugee Team.