refugee en Refugee team carries bittersweet message to the world <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div style="margin-bottom:10px; padding:5px; line-height:10px"> Also available in: <a href="" rel="nofollow">Español</a></div> <p> <img alt="" height="214" src="" style="float:left" title="Photo by Andy Miah Follow, some rights reserved" width="320" />Thousands of spectators rippled to their feet while millions of others around the world joyfully watched live images on TV as the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) marched in Brazil’s Maracanã Stadium for the Opening Ceremony. Comprised of five South Sudanese runners, two Congolese judokas, two swimmers from Syria and a marathoner from Ethiopia, the six male and four female athletes were selected from a pool of 43 possible candidates.  Their inclusion was one of the top feel-good moments of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio because the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">10-athlete-team</a> not only carried the Olympic flag, but also a message of hope for millions of young people that have been driven from their homes.<br />  <br /> However, while there is much to celebrate and many to praise for this unprecedented and historical initiative in the world of sports, in an ideal world such a team should not exist at all. The few joyful moments - compounded with our cheers - should not obscure the realities of unmatched human suffering in refugee camps worldwide. The very existence of such a team reminds us that the world has collectively failed over <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">65 million displaced</a> people in helping them return home or find a new place to call their permanent home. These athletes represent a community that is running away from regional conflicts, civil wars, aggressions, genocides, famines, poverty, and diseases— some of which are so deep-rooted that finding viable solutions seems elusive.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 10 Aug 2016 19:15:00 +0000 Farhad Peikar 7484 at