IOC Refugee Team announced for Paris Olympics
© Canva
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2024 Refugee Olympic Team announced for Paris

Thirty-six refugee athletes will compete on the world stage in July

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced the 36 athletes who are heading to Paris as part of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.

The 2024 team includes athletes from 11 different countries. 

Through incredible resilience, strength and talent, the athletes have qualified to compete in 12 different sports at the Games, including boxing, athletics, cycling, swimming and weightlifting.

2024 Olympic Refugee team collage
© Olympic Refuge Foundation
The 36 members of the 2024 IOC Refugee Olympic Team.

While most members of the team have resettled in countries around the world, two of the athletes are still living in refugee camps.  

Perina Lokure Nakang fled South Sudan with her aunt aged seven, settling in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. In Kakuma, she found solace in playing sports, including basketball and football, before discovering running, which became her passion. 

Running helped Perina navigate the challenges of camp life and gave her an Olympic dream to work towards. She will compete in middle distance events in athletics. 

Yahya Al Ghotany will compete in Taekwondo. He started practising the martial art when he arrived in Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, after fleeing the war in Syria with his family. After only five years of training, he reached black belt second dan level.

Yahya now trains twice a day at the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation’s Azraq Academy. 

The 2024 team will be led by the Chef de Mission, Masomah Ali Zada, who competed at the Tokyo Olympics as a member of the Refugee Olympic Team. Masomah celebrated the athletes at the team announcement:

“All of you had a dream, and today your dream to compete at the Olympic Games is closer than ever,” she said. “With all the challenges that you have faced, you now have a chance to inspire a new generation, represent something bigger than yourselves and show the world what refugees are capable of.” 

IOC Refugee Team announced for Paris Olympics
© Olympic Refuge Foundation

The IOC Refugee Olympic Team represents more than 100 million displaced people worldwide. 

The selection process for the team is based on sporting performances and the athlete's refugee status, as confirmed by UNHCR. 


This is the third IOC Refugee Olympic Team to compete at the Olympic Games.  The team’s announcement was made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, during a live-streamed ceremony from Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland.


“We welcome all of you with open arms,” said Bach. “You are an enrichment to our Olympic Community, and to our societies. With your participation in the Olympic Games, you will demonstrate the human potential of resilience and excellence.”


The Refugee Olympic Team's participation in the Olympic Games sends a powerful message of hope, belonging, and inclusion. We look forward to cheering on all the refugee athletes as they compete on the world stage in July!

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