The IOC announced Friday that the athletes from Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will go to Rio this summer and march under the Olympic flag.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) named 10 refugee athletes who will compete as Team Refugee Olympic Athletes in this summer’s Olympics Games in Rio. The athletes are from Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“All fled violence and persecution in their countries and sought refuge in places as wide-ranging as Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Kenya and Brazil,” the UN refugee agency said in a statement.

Here’s a breakdown of the athletes.

refugee-olympics

  • Rami Anis (M): Country of origin – Syria; host NOC – Belgium; sport – swimming
  • Yiech Pur Biel (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 800m
  • James Nyang Chiengjiek (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 400m
  • Yonas Kinde (M): Country of origin – Ethiopia; host NOC – Luxembourg; sport – athletics, marathon
  • Anjelina Nada Lohalith (F): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 1500m
  • Rose Nathike Lokonyen (F): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 800m
  • Paulo Amotun Lokoro (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 1500m
  • Yolande Bukasa Mabika (F): Country of origin – Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC – Brazil; sport – judo, -70kg
  • Yusra Mardini (F): Country of origin – Syria; host NOC – Germany; sport – swimming
  • Popole Misenga (M): Country of origin – Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC – Brazil; sport – judo, -90kg

The 10 were chosen from a group of 43 athletes selected by National Olympic Committees.

The team “will be treated … like all of the other teams” at the games, the IOC said. Team Refugee Olympic Athletes will live in the Olympic village with the other 11,000 athletes, work with coaches and a team entourage appointed by the IOC, and march in the opening ceremony.

They will compete under the Olympic flag, stand for the Olympic anthem, and wear Olympic uniforms during the Games.

The IOC announced plans for the first Olympic refugee team at the UN in October, to bring awareness to the global migrant crisis.

In a statement Friday, IOC President Thomas Bach said, “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.”

The IOC has a promotional video for the team:

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Brent Lindeque
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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