How to support the IOC Refugee Olympic Team members

Find out when each of the 29 members of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 competes.
By ZK Goh

When the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 officially open on 23 July 2021 at the Tokyo National Stadium, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team (EOR, from the French Équipe olympique des réfugiés) will be represented at the Games for a second time.

After the Rio 2016 Games, the world's leading athletes who also hold United Nations refugee status will have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games again.

In October 2018, the 133rd IOC Session in Buenos Aires approved the formation of the EOR for Tokyo 2020. Fifty-five potential athletes from 13 countries and 21 host countries were given IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarships to aid in their training.

Some 29 athletes have made the cut and will wear the EOR colours at Tokyo 2020 as refugee athletes once again take the international stage to raise awareness of the globe's ongoing refugee crisis.

Here are the EOR athletes who are set to shine at Tokyo 2020, their events, and how and when you can follow them in Japan.

History of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team

The IOC Refugee Olympic Team was first created in March 2016 by the International Olympic Committee's Executive Board to provide potential elite athletes who were affected by the refugee crisis a chance to qualify for and participate at the Olympic Games.

"By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (as the team was originally known then) to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope for all refugees in our world," IOC President Thomas Bach said then.

That year, 43 candidates were shortlisted before a final list of 10 athletes was selected to take part at the Olympic Games in Rio. All athletes who were considered had received UN refugee status.

"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," President Bach added after the team was announced in June 2016.

"It is also a signal to the international community that refugees are our fellow human beings and are an enrichment to society. 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."

Two athletes – Popole Misenga and Yusra Mardini – won a heat or contest.

Misenga, the team's Closing Ceremony flagbearer, won his opening judo bout to reach the round of 16 in his under-90kg category; Mardini won her 100m butterfly heat but did not advance to the semi-finals.

IOC Refugee Olympic Team mission

A refugee, according to the definition of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is "someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence".

The EOR and its athletes are a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide, serving to increase global knowledge and attention of the scale of the international refugee crisis.

Following the approval of Olympic Agenda 2020, which served as the IOC's strategic roadmap for the Olympic Movement until this year when Olympic Agenda 2020+5 was adopted, as well as in acknowledgement of the refugee crisis, the IOC created a special fund of $2 million (USD) to develop relief projects through sport.

That eventually led to the formation of the team for Rio 2016.

Then in September 2017, during the IOC Session in Lima, the Olympic Refuge Foundation was launched to support the protection, development and empowerment of children and youth in vulnerable situations through sport.

Now, under the stewardship of Olympic Solidarity, the Refugee Athlete Scholarship program has grown, with 55 promising refugee athletes in 12 sports – athleticsbadmintonboxingcanoeingcyclingjudo, karateshootingswimmingtaekwondoweightlifting, and wrestling – supported by the IOC.

Members of the Refugee Olympic Team and when to watch them

At the Opening Ceremony, the Refugee Olympic Team will enter second in the athletes' parade following Greece.

The Opening Ceremony begins at 20:00 Japan Standard Time (11:00 UTC) on 23 July 2021.

Read on for a detailed guide to each EOR athlete's competitions and schedule. All times reflect the session start times, not necessarily the exact time of the race or event, and are in Japan Standard Time (UTC +9 hours). Schedule information is correct as of 1 July 2021.


Anjelina Nadai Lohalith
From: South Sudan
Host NOC: Kenya
Event: Women's 1500m
When to watch: 2 August 9:00am (round 1 heats), 4 August 6:30pm (semi-finals), 6 August 7:50pm (final)
READ: Introducing Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, the refugee track runner aiming for her second Olympics

Dorian Keletela
From: Congo
Host NOC: Portugal
Event: Men's 100m
When to watch: 31 July 9:00am (preliminary round), 31 July 7:00pm (round 1 heats), 1 August 7:00pm (semi-finals and final)
READ: Meet Dorian Keletela: Olympic 100m sprint hopeful and IOC Refugee Scholarship holder

Jamal Abdelmaji Mohammed
From: Sudan
Host NOC: Israel
Event: Men's 5000m
When to watch: 3 August 7:00pm (round 1 heats), 6 August 7:50pm (final)
READ: Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed hopes to complete long road from Darfur

James Nyang Chiengjiek
From: South Sudan
Host NOC: Kenya
Event: Men's 800m
When to watch: 1 August 9:10pm (round 1 heats), 2 August 7:00pm (semi-finals), 5 August 7:00pm (final)
READ: Meet James Nyang Chiengjiek, IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holder hoping for second Olympic appearance

Paulo Amotun Lokoro
From: South Sudan
Host NOC: Kenya
Event: Men's 1500m
When to watch: 3 August 9:00am (round 1 heats), 5 August 7:00pm (semi-finals), 7 August 7:00pm (final)
READ: IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holder Paulo Amotun Lokoro aims for second Games

Rose Lokonyen Nathike
From: South Sudan
Host NOC: Kenya
Event: Women's 800m
When to watch: 30 July 9:00am (round 1 heats), 31 July 7:00pm (semi-finals), 3 August 7:00pm (final)
READ: Meet Rose Lokonyen Nathike, Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holder and historic Olympic flagbearer

Tachlowini Gabriyesos
From: Eritrea
Host NOC: Israel
Event: Men's marathon
When to watch: 8 August 7:00am
READ: Get to know Tachlowini Gabriyesos: Marathon man going all out to make the IOC Refugee Olympic Team


Aram Mahmoud
From: Syria
Host NOC: Netherlands
Event: Men's singles
When to watch: 24 July–28 July (group play), 29 July 5:00pm (round of 16), 31 July 9:00am (quarter-finals), 1 August 1:00pm (semi-finals), 2 August 8:00pm (medal finals)
READ: Meet Aram Mahmoud: The rising refugee badminton star aiming at Tokyo Olympics


Wessam Salamana
From: Syria
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Men's lightweight (-57kg)
When to watch: 25 July (round of 32), 31 July (round of 16), 3 August (quarter-finals), 6 August 2:00pm (semi-finals), 8 August 2:00pm (final)
READ: In the blue corner: Wessam Salamana is fighting to represent refugees everywhere at Tokyo 2020

Eldric Samuel Sella Rodríguez
From: Venezuela
Host NOC: Trinidad and Tobago
Event: Men's middleweight (-75kg)
When to watch: 26 July (round of 32), 29 July (round of 16), 1 August (quarter-finals), 5 August 2:00pm (semi-finals), 7 August 2:00pm (final)
READ: Introducing Eldric Samuel Sella Rodriguez, the refugee boxer hoping to realise his Olympic dream at Tokyo 2020


Saeid Fazloula
From: Iran
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Men's K-1 flatwater 1000m
When to watch: 2 August 9:30am (heats and quarter-finals), 3 August 9:30am (semi-finals and final)
READ: Introducing Saeid Fazloula: The refugee canoe sprinter powering towards the Tokyo Olympics


Masomah Ali Zada
From: Afghanistan
Host NOC: France
Event: Women's road time trial
When to watch: 28 July 11:30am
READ: Introducing Masomah Ali Zada – cyclist, aspiring Olympian, and refugee
READ: Masomah Ali Zada: The Little Queen of Kabul

Ahmad Badreddin Weis
From: Syria
Host NOC: Switzerland
Event: Men's road time trial
When to watch: 28 July 11:30am
READ: Meet Ahmad Badreddin Wais, Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holder and four-time World Championships cyclist


All judo athletes will compete at Tokyo 2020 as part of a team in the Mixed Team event.

When to watch: 31 July 11:00am (elimination rounds and repêchage), 5:00pm (medal matches)

Ahmad Alikaj
From: Syria
Host NOC: Germany (IJF)

Javad Mahjoub
From: Iran
Host NOC: Canada (IJF)

Muna Dahouk
From: Syria
Host NOC: Netherlands (IJF)

Nigara Shaheen
From: Afghanistan
Host NOC: Russia (IJF)

Popole Misenga
From: DR Congo
Host NOC: Brazil
READ: Popole Misenga aiming high with the IOC Refugee Olympic Team: 'Judo saved me'
READ: From crowded favela to Olympic refugee fan favourite: This is judoka Popole Misenga's amazing story

Sanda Aldass
From: Syria
Host NOC: Netherlands
READ: Introducing Sanda Aldass, the Olympic hopeful refugee judoka juggling sport and motherhood
READ: Refugee judoka Sanda Aldass: The importance of judo to me


Hamoon Derafshipour
From: Iran
Host NOC: Canada
Event: Men's -67kg kumite
When to watch: 5 August
READ: Hamoon Derafshipour Tokyo-bound after leaving Iran so wife could train him

Wael Shueb
From: Syria
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Men's kata
When to watch: 6 August
READ: Defeating the odds: Meet Refugee Olympic Team hopeful Wael Shueb

Sport shooting

Luna Solomon
From: Eritrea
Host NOC: Switzerland
Event: Women's 10m air rifle
When to watch: 24 July 8:30am
READ: Meet Luna Solomon, the sport shooter aiming for Tokyo 2020 after "Taking Refuge"


Yusra Mardini
From: Syria
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Women's 100m butterfly
When to watch: 24 July 7:00pm (heats), 25 July 10:30am (semi-finals), 26 July 10:30am (final)
READ: Introducing Yusra Mardini, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team swimmer looking towards second Games in Tokyo
READ: Yusra Mardini: “Sport was our way out"
WATCH: In conversation with Yusra and Katie

Alaa Maso
From: Syria
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Men's 50m freestyle
When to watch: 30 July 7:00pm (heats), 31 July 10:30 am (semi-finals), 1 August 10:30am (final)
READ: Meet Alaa Maso: The refugee swimmer who found peace in the pool


Abdullah Sediqi
From: Afghanistan
Host NOC: Belgium
Event: Men's -68kg
When to watch: 25 July
READ: Introducing Abdullah Sediqi – refugee taekwondo athlete and Olympic hopeful

Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi
From: Iran
Host NOC: Netherlands
Event: Women's -49kg
When to watch: 24 July
READ: Meet Dina Pouryounes: The IOC Refugee Athlete taking taekwondo by storm

Kimia Alizadeh Zenozi
From: Iran
Host NOC: Germany
Event: Women's -57 kg
When to watch: 25 July
READ: Meet Kimia Alizadeh: The Olympic medallist refugee fighting for equality
WATCH: Alizadeh Zenoorin becomes first woman to win Olympic medal for Iran


Cyrille Fagat Tchatchet II
From: Cameroon
Host NOC: Great Britain
Event: Men's 96 kg
When to watch: 31 July 11:50am
READ: Meet Cyrille Tchatchet II - The refugee weightlifter who went from homeless to British record holder


Aker Al Obaidi
From: Iraq
Host NOC: Austria
Event: Men's Greco-Roman -67kg
When to watch: 3 August 11:00am (preliminary rounds), 3 August 6:15pm (semi-finals), 4 August 11:00 am (repechage), 4 August 6:15pm (medal matches)
READ: Meet Aker Al Obaidi - The refugee wrestler who found salvation in the mountains of Austria