During its meeting in Buenos Aires in October 2018, the IOC Session decided to create the IOC Refugee Olympic Team at Tokyo 2020. This decision builds on the legacy of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio and is the continuation of the IOC’s commitment to play its part in addressing the global refugee crisis and to convey the message of solidarity and hope to millions of refugee athletes around the world.
The IOC Session has mandated Olympic Solidarity to establish the conditions for participation and define the identification and selection process of the team. These elements will be carried out in close collaboration with the National Olympic Committees, the International Sport Federations, the Organising Committee Tokyo 2020 and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.
On 20 June 2019, the IOC released the list of Refugee Athlete Scholarship-Holders who are aiming to be part of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020. This announcement was made on World Refugee Day, which is celebrated every year on 20 June.
The current 42 Refugee Athlete Scholarship-Holders include the 10 athletes who were part of the first IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016, new individual athletes, and a group of athletes preparing at the Tegla Loroupe Refugee Training Centre in Kenya. They are competing in nine sports. All are being assisted by Olympic Solidarity through its Refugee Athletes Support Programme.
Through training grants, Olympic Solidarity and their host National Olympic Committees (NOCs) help refugee athletes not only to train with the aim of qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, but also to continue their sporting career and to build their future.
Coming from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Islamic Republic of Iran, South Sudan, Sudan and Syria, the Refugee Scholarship-Holders are competing in athletics, badminton, boxing, judo, karate, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Their refugee status has been confirmed by UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); and the support of host NOCs (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Portugal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and Turkey) as well as the International Federations has been and will be instrumental in securing their training in the lead-up to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The composition of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team (EOR)* Tokyo 2020 will be announced in June 2020.
* The IOC Refugee Olympic Team will compete in Tokyo under the acronym EOR which stands for Equipe Olympique des Réfugiés.