Refugee runners: Olympics fields its first team without a country

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, June 6, 2016.

Few events cultivate as deep and enthusiastic a sense of nationalism as the Olympic Games, a weeks-long parade of national colors and elite sporting prowess. But for this year’s Summer Games, for the first time in history, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is fielding a small team of refugees—athletes representing not a country, but all those without one.

“We want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world,” said IOC president Thomas Bach in March when he announced the formation of the team. 

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