skip to content

Olympic Heroes visit refugee camps in Olympic Channel’s Camps to Champs

14 Dec 2016
Olympic News, Olympic Channel
In the inspirational and emotional new series, Camps to Champs, Olympic athletes invite viewers to experience how sport can positively change lives as they visit refugee camps and areas for the displaced. Each episode focuses on one location and is told through the eyes of an Olympian who demonstrates the impact of outreach programmes and grassroots sports activities. The four-episode docu-series is available exclusively on the Olympic Channel digital platform.

In the first episode, London 2012 silver medallist and modern pentathlete Samantha Murray of Great Britain meets Syrian refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, and discovers how they find solace in sports such as table tennis, taekwondo, wrestling and football. 

“This is real-life skills in the making for these people, the next generation. They are learning here,” Samantha said during a visit to a taekwondo academy. “Until my experience at the camp, I never realised that it [sport] was used in such a completely different way. Sport is an excellent tool for you to grow as a person, to have fun, and to forget what is going on around you.”

In the second episode, Olympic silver medallist in freestyle skiing and US Ski Team’s Gus Kenworthy visits Uganda’s Nakivale camp, where he spends time with a group of long-distance runners whose sport unites them; visits a DIY gym with home-made weightlifting equipment; and plays basketball with a talented refugee who dreams of someday playing professionally.

In the third instalment, Sizwe Ndlovu, an Olympic gold medallist rower from South Africa, visits a makeshift badminton club; learns how judo is helping one family recover; and meets Syrian refugee Ibrahim Al-Hussien, who competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in swimming for the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT).

In the fourth episode, the two-time Olympic medallist, synchronised swimmer Thaïs Henríquez of Spain, meets Colombians who have been internally displaced by the long-running civil war, and discovers how sports such as football, sitting volleyball and boxing are instrumental in providing new opportunities for a fresh outlook on life. 

The Olympic Channel is a new, ground-breaking digital platform where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, and is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at

back to top Fr