Rio 2016 Olympics will feature refugee team
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is trying to make sure all groups of people are represented at the Games this year -- even those without a country.
The IOC has confirmed there will be a team of refugees in Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics.
The team will be called the Refugee Olympic Athletes.
The Olympic five-ring flag will fly and the Olympic anthem will play for the refugees at any medal ceremonies.
According to the IOC, 43 candidates will compete for spots in the five- to 10-member team.
In the IOC's statement, IOC President Thomas Bach said:
"By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world. Having no national team to belong to, having no flag to march behind, having no national anthem to be played, these refugee athletes will be welcomed to the Olympic Games with the Olympic flag and with the Olympic Anthem. They will have a home together with all the other 11,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees in the Olympic Village."
Bach has shown his support publicly for the refugees visiting refugee camps often to give assistance.
This decision comes on the heels of the closure of one of the largest refugee camps. The refugee camp in northern France, often called "the Jungle," housed 3,500 before being closed down.
Europe as a whole is experiencing a refugee crisis, as refugees poured into its countries in 2015. Estimates say that in 2016, the influx of refugees will skyrocket.