The 2016 Olympic Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro introduced for the first time in history a team strictly composed of refugees.
The decision came after the athletes who became refugees but wanted to compete realized that they are confronted with an unfair situation: obviously they cannot compete as citizens of the country they fled from because of war and persecutions, but they still have not acquired another citizenship from the host country.
As a result, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected a number of 43 athletes to compete under the Olympic flag and Olympic anthem, in a team of refugees. The athletes will be housed exactly like the other teams and will get their own welcome ceremony. They will even be provided all the uniforms and other technical needs they may have.
IOC president Tomas Bach declared in a statement available on the official IOC website: “By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world.”
It is even predicted by the IOC that between five and 10 athletes among the group of refugees will manage to get to be a part of the final team.
A situation like this has never occurred before at the scale of an entire team, though several athletes have competed in the past as independent competitors.