President Bach was joined by two members of the Refugee Olympic Team as they visited what will be their rooms in the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Popole Misenga and Yolande Bukasa Mabika are judokas from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are now living in Brazil after being granted refugee status.Eventually, all 10 members of the ROT will make their home in the Olympic Village for the duration of the Games. The ROT will have its own offficials and will march under the Olympic flag at the Opening Ceremony of the Games. Also there today was the Deputy Chef de Mission of the ROT, Isabela Mazão, from the UNHCR. The team will enter the stadium just ahead of the Brazilian team at the Opening Ceremony on 5 August.
Earlier, the President was at a ceremony in the Olympic Village where the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro symbolically handed over the keys of the Village to the President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee, Carlos Nuzman. President Bach was also joined by IOC Executive Board Member and Chair of the Rio 2016 Coordination Commission Nawal El Moutawakel, and Brazilian IOC Member Bernard Rajzman.
By welcoming the team of Refugee Olympic Athletes to the Olympic Games Rio 2016, we want to send a message of hope to all refugees in our world.Thomas Bach IOC President
Speaking at the ceremony, President Bach described the Olympic Village as the “beating heart of the Olympic Games”. “This is the place where the Olympic spirit lives”, he said.
In the morning, the President visited the Deodoro Olympic Park. He was able to check on the progress of a number of venues, for the equestrian events, BMX, canoe slalom, mountain bike, rugby, hockey and women's basketball.