The value of the International Olympic Committee’s inclusion of a refugee team in Rio is exemplified by 18-year-old Yusra Mardini, who nine months ago fled from her home in Syria.
Yusra was on an overcrowded dinghy full of migrants when the boat’s engine failed, so she and her sister jumped into the water and pushed the vessel across the sea until they reached the Greek island of Lesbos.
She now lives in Berlin, Germany, and has qualified as a member of the first refugee team ever to compete at an Olympic Games. In Rio, she will take part in the 200m and 400 freestyle and the 200m individual medley.
While Terre des Hommes joins the UNHCR in recognising this IOC decision, we also hope that in the future such initiatives expand to include the issue of families evicted from their homes ahead of the Games.