The Danish sports confederation DIF has praised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for establishing an official team for athletes who are refugees and can’t represent the nations they come from at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio this summer.
The IOC has identified 43 candidates for the team, which has been named Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (or Team ROA).
“It’s a very prize-worthy initiative,” said Morten Mølholm Hansen, the head of DIF.
“The whole point of the Olympics is for the world’s best athletes to have an opportunity to meet and compete. So it is a shame that international conflicts have hindered certain athletes from participating. The new team for refugees, who no longer have a nation they can represent, is a just cause.”
Team ROA will have its own welcome ceremony in Rio and will stay in the Olympic village along with the other participating athletes.
During all official representations of the team – including prospective medal ceremonies – the Olympic flag will be raised and the Olympic hymn will be played.
During the opening ceremony, the team will march behind the Olympic flag and will enter before the host nation Brazil.
The Olympic Solidarity, which organises assistance for all the National Olympic Committees, will cover the team’s travel fees and it will continue to support the athletes after the Olympic Games have finished.
DIF is not aware of any refugees considered elite athletes living in Denmark.