It's now official, the refugee Olympic team has been announced by the International Olympic Committee and among the 36 athletes selected, 6 are judoka.

Their names are Sibghatullah, Mahboubeh, Muna, Adnan, Mohammad and Nigara. We are used to seeing them on the World Judo Tour. For months, they have been fighting literally and figuratively to be part of the great Olympic adventure and now, in Paris this summer, we will have the pleasure of following them during individual and mixed team competitions.

IOC President Thomas Bach declared, “We welcome you to the IOC Refugee Team with open arms and hearts in the true Olympic spirit of solidarity, peace and excellence. Congratulations!

Muna said, “I have happiness which I can’t explain. I’m so happy and proud of myself and all the refugee athletes. I will see you soon in Paris.

The selected judo athletes are: Mohammad Rashnonezhad (-66kg), Muna Dahouk (-57kg), Arab Sibghatullah (-81kg), Nigara Shaheen (-63kg), Adnan Khankan (-100kg) and Mahboubeh Barbari Zharfi (+78kg).

The full list of 36 athletes come from 11 different countries of origin and are currently hosted by 15 different National Olympic Committees. In Paris, they will compete in 12 different sports: swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, breaking, canoe, cycling, judo, shooting, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling.

The Olympic Refugee Team - Picture by Olympic Refuge Foundation

On the road to Paris 2024, we will take time to know more about each one of them. The first refugee team was present in Rio in 2016 when two judoka competed. Five years later we had a full mixed team at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will again be the case in the French capital city.

As the event is approaching, we will take time to discover everyone one of them, so stay tuned for more information about Sibghatullah, Mahboubeh, Muna, Adnan, Mohammad and Nigara. In the meantime, don't forget their names as they are the true representatives of our society and throughout their lives they inspire millions of people around the world.

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