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Brazil: Refugee athletes train ahead of Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics02:08

Brazil: Refugee athletes train ahead of Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
June 9, 2016 at 03:18 GMT +00:00 · Published

Two Congolese members of the international refugee team, set to compete in 2016 Summer Olympic games, showed off their Judo skills at the Instituto Reacao in Jacarepagua, Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday. Athletes Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga are just two of the refugees selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete as an international team in Rio's summer games.

Makiba spoke about the experience of being a refugee and separated from her family, saying, "It was stuck in my head, I couldn't let that pain go away. Only death could make me give up in my life. But thank God I did not die and I'm here fighting, because life is also made to fight - and I'm a fighter. I'm fighting in life's game to be able to be reunited with my family one day."

Judo coach Geraldo Bernardes argued that, even before the games begin, the creation of this team is very significant. He said, "The biggest medal already arrived, and it is the transformation of their lives. That is a golden medal for us."

The athletes were selected from of a list of 43 refugees who were picked as potential candidates for the team. During the nomination process, the athletes' sporting competence, official refugee status verified by the United Nations, personal situation and background were reportedly taken into consideration. The team of refugees will receive uniforms, coaches and team officials.

Brazil: Refugee athletes train ahead of Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics02:08
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Description

Two Congolese members of the international refugee team, set to compete in 2016 Summer Olympic games, showed off their Judo skills at the Instituto Reacao in Jacarepagua, Rio de Janeiro, on Wednesday. Athletes Yolande Mabika and Popole Misenga are just two of the refugees selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to compete as an international team in Rio's summer games.

Makiba spoke about the experience of being a refugee and separated from her family, saying, "It was stuck in my head, I couldn't let that pain go away. Only death could make me give up in my life. But thank God I did not die and I'm here fighting, because life is also made to fight - and I'm a fighter. I'm fighting in life's game to be able to be reunited with my family one day."

Judo coach Geraldo Bernardes argued that, even before the games begin, the creation of this team is very significant. He said, "The biggest medal already arrived, and it is the transformation of their lives. That is a golden medal for us."

The athletes were selected from of a list of 43 refugees who were picked as potential candidates for the team. During the nomination process, the athletes' sporting competence, official refugee status verified by the United Nations, personal situation and background were reportedly taken into consideration. The team of refugees will receive uniforms, coaches and team officials.

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