One of those attending the glitzy affair in Monaco was Syrian swimmer Rami Anis, who made the hazardous sea crossing from Turkey to Greece after fleeing his home town of Aleppo and ended up in Belgium. He said; “Sport gives everyone a chance, and what happened at the Rio Olympics showed people around the world who have trouble and fear in their lives that there is hope.” The team’s chef de mission, Kenyan distance runner Tegla Loroupe said; “This award was for the 65.4 million displaced people globally, who cannot go to their homes because of strife.
Each of the 10 inspirational people in our team have triumphed over adversity and endured unimaginable journeys to get to the start line.” The International Olympic Committee has yet to decide whether to send another refugee team to Tokyo in 2020. More than a million refugees streamed into Europe in 2016 alone as they fled fighting in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Millions more are housed in camps in countries across the world, having escaped wars or armed conflicts in their home nations.