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The Rio2016 Olympic Games

Briefing notes

The Rio2016 Olympic Games

5 August 2016 Also available in:

The Rio2016 Games officially commence this evening, Friday 5 August. For the first time in the history of the modern Olympic Games, a Refugee Olympic Team will also be competing. The team includes 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 initiative comes at a time when more people than ever – 65.3 million at last count – are being forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. The Refugee Olympic Team hopes to give the world a glimpse of refugees’ resilience and untapped talent.

 For journalists interested in covering this story, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering the following media materials:

 A resources page for media professionals containing background info and fact sheets, details of the refugee athletes with accompanying photos and videos, media contacts, related social media links, plus a link to UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign

Photos and video materials of the athletes in Rio. To access these materials, please register for an account on Once registered, all text, video and photos can be downloaded here:

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees will be in Rio to cheer on the team. Media contacts for interview requests are available on the media page: