IOC President supporting the Refugee Olympic Team on the road to Tokyo

The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, was at the Swiss National Cycling Time Trials in Lausanne on Wednesday to give his support to one of the newly selected athletes from the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020.  President Bach was there to see Badreddin Wais cross the line in the elite men’s race.

IOC President supporting the Refugee Olympic Team

Badreddin, a refugee originally from Syria, is one of the 29 members of the newly announced team that will shortly be heading to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.  The team members will first meet up in Qatar for their welcome experience before flying to Tokyo in mid-July.

After the race, President Bach spoke with Badreddin to wish him luck.

“Today’s race was good preparation for the Games,” Badreddin told President Bach.  “That you are here pushing me for Tokyo meant a lot to me,” he added.

“This is why I’m here,” said the IOC President, “to give you the last push for the Games before you meet up with all your team mates in Doha.”

The pair agreed to meet again in Tokyo during the Games, which start in just 35 days’ time.

Twenty-nine athletes competing across 12 sports and from 13 host National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will be part of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020. They were selected from among the refugee athletes currently supported by the IOC through the Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes programme, and will send a powerful message of solidarity and hope to the world this summer, bringing further awareness to the plight of over 80 million displaced people worldwide.

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