Adnan Khankan is the -100kg representative of the IJF Refugee Team. For him Paris 2024 will be first experience of the Olympic Games. Already present on the World Judo Tour, he is looking forward to participating at the Games.

"My feelings on the day I found out that I was nominated were indescribable. It was simply an incredible feeling. I just cried with my wife. My dreams were now within reach and will be achieved. It's an indescribable situation.

Being nominated for the Olympic Games in Paris this year is very important because France is an important country in judo. Being able to compete in Paris is a very special situation and I had dreamed of it. This is my first Olympic Games and for me it is like a childhood dream. I will definitely give my best to represent all refugees worldwide well on the Olympic tatami.

I am not tense at all despite the dimensions of the event. I want to enjoy every second of the Olympic Games, no matter what the result is in the end. We are already winners.

Nevertheless, the preparation is actually going quite well with our coach Vahid. We have three more training camps and then I believe we will be fit and ready for the competition days. I am currently training at the National Training Centre in Cologne, Germany and at my club in Mönchengladbach.

I was born in Damascus, Syria, and started judo at the age of 9. For me, judo is a very special sport because it imparts many important values that one should learn from childhood, such as respect, courage and self-confidence. In 2015, I received a summons from the Syrian army to be enrolled but I decided not to participate in the war and not to get my hands dirty with blood. That's why I fled to Europe and eventually landed in Germany.

We will arrive in Paris on 15th July, a few days prior to the start of the Olympic Games. Meanwhile, the daily routine for our preparation is very important because we need to take care of our conditioning, nutrition and stay injury-free to give our best on the tatami. My biggest challenge is to stay focused on my competition and my dream. I will give my best to represent all refugees well.

We wouldn't be here without his support, the very first person who believed in our story and supported. IJF President Marius Vizer has helped and supported us immensely. Without this, the whole team would not be at the Olympic Games.

Despite the situation in the world, my dream is that there will be no more wars and we won't have to see any more refugees in this world. That's one of the reasons why in the future I would like to change the situation of refugees in Europe through judo with my club. Unfortunately the image of refugees in the media is very negative. Through judo and sports I want to change this image. My second idea is to help new arrivals from war zones, regardless of their situation, because I have also received a lot of help from kind people here.

Judo is a very special sport. You must learn politeness, helpfulness, honesty, seriousness and respect from childhood. Such values are hard to find elsewhere. On the judo mat, whether you are a loser or a winner, you must always show respect. What particularly struck me is that in the judo family, in every training session we participate in, I have always met nice people and always received help, no matter where people come from, what colour they are or what religion they follow. You are always warmly welcomed into the judo family.

The message I want to convey to people who read this or see me is: we must live in peace, without conflicts and war. In war, each of us is a loser; there are no winners. For people who are new refugees: never stop believing in your dreams. Keep working hard until your dreams are fulfilled.

I have planned my future career in judo to become a referee or work with the IJF team in supporting programmes. I would like to help people in conflict areas on the ground, as a coach or in any other way. The main thing is to help the new refugees."

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