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GENEVA, June 3. /TASS/. The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro will see for the first time the participation of the Refugee Olympic Team (ROT), made up of ten athletes, who were forced to flee their native countries finding shelter abroad, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said on Friday.
"This is a historic moment," Bach told a news conference on Friday. "Because I will announce the members of the first Olympic Refugee Team."
The selected ten athletes in the ROT were earlier forced to flee their native countries of South Sudan, Syria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They will be participating at the 2016 Summer Olympics in swimming, running and judo competitions.
"These refugees have no home, no team, no flag, no national anthem," Bach said. "We will offer them a home in the Olympic Village together with all the athletes of the word."
"The Olympic anthem will be played in their honor and the Olympic flag will lead them into the Olympic Stadium," the IOC president said. "This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis."
"It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society," Bach said. "These refugee athletes will show the world that despite the unimaginable tragedies that they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through their talent, skills and strength of the human spirit."
The 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, scheduled to be held on August 5-21.