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Refugee Olympic Athletes

A select group of athletes, known as Team Refugee Olympic Athletes, participated at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Team Refugee marched under the Olympic flag, walking out ahead of the host nation Brazil during the opening ceremony. This project by the IOC was largely symbolic, aiming to send a message of hope for all refugees in the world at a time of large refugee crises around the world. There was also a refugee team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The IOC code used for this team is "EOR" which represents the French Équipe olympique des réfugiés.

2020 Refugee Team

For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the IOC again has selected athletes to represent the Refugee Olympic Team. In addition to their their confirmed refugee status, selection in this team was based on the athletes' sporting performance, as well as getting a balanced representation across sports, regions and genders. The team for 2021 is composed of 29 athletes - 25 Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders from 11 countries who have been living and training in 13 host countries, representing 12 sports, as well as four additional athletes from the International Judo Federation Refugee Project.

The 2016 Athletes

The refugee team comprised of 10 athletes from the Middle East and North Africa. They competed as the Refugee Olympic Team with the country code ROT. The team did not win any medals. If any of the athletes were win gold, the Olympic anthem was to be played as the winner took to the podium.


There are plans for a Refugee Paralympic Team (RPT) at the 2020 Tokyo Olympcs, building on the Independent Paralympic Athletes team which competed at Rio 2016 (featuring two athletes from Syria and Iran who had claimed political asylum). 

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