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Refugee Olympic team

Men's Judo 90 kg
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Men's Judo 90 kg

Popole Misenga of The Refugee Olympic Team celebrates beating Avtar Singh of India in the Men's 90kg category at the Carioca Arena 2, on August 10, 2016.
IOC/David Burnett
Paulo Amotun
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Paulo Amotun

Paulo Amotun jostles for position during his heat of the men’s 1,500m. Amotun used to herd cattle for his family in southern Sudan until civil war forced them from their home. He is part of the Refugee Olympic Team.
IOC/David Burnett
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Popole Misenga

Popole Misenga celebrates after beating India’s Avtar Singh in the first round of the men’s -90kg judo event. The 24-year-old is originally from the Bukavu area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was severely affected by the Second Congo War, and sought asylum in Brazil during the Judo World Championships in 2013. “I’m just really happy to be here because everybody understands and knows about the refugee team, knows the refugee story,” he said. “People around the world, they’re all watching this competition right now.”
IOC/David Burnett
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Yolande Bukasa Mabika

Yolande Bukasa Mabika grapples with Israel’s Linda Bolder in the first round of the women’s -70kg judo event. Mabika, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, has lived in Rio since claiming asylum in 2013. During the Second Congo War she was separated from her parents and taken to a children’s home in the capital Kinshasa, where she took up judo. “I’m representing many nations and my victory is a victory for all refugees in the world,” the 28-year-old said. “I lost, but I’m here. The fight did not end today. The fight is not only judo, the fight is life.”
IOC/David Burnett
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Olympic Village

Lokonyen enjoys a game of dominoes with fellow team members as they relax in the Olympic Village.
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Rami Anis

“It’s a wonderful feeling to compete in the Olympic Games. I don’t want to wake up from this dream,” said Syrian refugee Rami Anis after competing in two swimming events in Rio. Anis fled his home in 2011 after bombings in his hometown of Aleppo.
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