Meet the Congolese refugees competing at Rio 2016 | Refugee Olympic Team

Meet the Congolese refugees competing at Rio 2016 | Refugee Olympic Team


In the beginning, when Popole arrived here at the Reacao Institute, during training he showed a poorly controlled aggressiveness. So that was creating a hostile environment between my athletes and him. So I was obliged, once I found out about their story, to have a meeting with my athletes and to tell them why. They understood and that hostility ended. In the beginning, when Yolanda arrived she also had a bit of aggressiveness. I was ten-and-a-half when I started, and four years later I was entering competitions. First I participated in children’s competitions, until I grew up. The money from the Olympic Committee helped me improve my life in Brazil. Now I have this money to help me prepare (for the competition). You can’t let people think that, just because they are refugees, they have to stop doing what they do because they are refugees. Even though they are refugees, they need to carry on practising their sports: they need to carry on boxing, they need to carry on running marathons. Judo helped me a lot in life. It made me a stronger person. She also has all the conditions to arrive there and have good fights, and can secure a medal. I hope that the training she is doing here has helped her to arrive there and take care of the situation. That she really goes there and competes well. Training here gives me a good chance because Brazilian judo is quite technical. They have a good judo technique, a good ground technique, a good work technique and a good combat technique. He has potential. Can he compete at the Olympic Games? Yes he can. Because when he came here to Brazil, he came for the World Championships in 2013. What he needed was stronger training. The refugees have been given the chance to participate in the Olympic Games. It’s the first time that has happened. And I am ready… I am ready to fight in the Olympic Games. My message to the refugees of the world would be to not give up on hope, and to keep believing, to have faith in their hearts.

9 Replies to “Meet the Congolese refugees competing at Rio 2016 | Refugee Olympic Team”

  1. Discover more about the Refugee Olympic Team here: https://www.olympic.org/news/refugee-olympic-team-to-shine-spotlight-on-worldwide-refugee-crisis

  2. As much as I wud love for the Jamaicans to win the Judo, i hope these guys medal. Triumph over Adversity is most rewarding. Am rooting for them.

  3. this guy obviously lives and trains in a country it might not be where he is from but why doesn't he just represent the country he is in now ?

  4. I just find that embarrassing and superfluous. Good will result – but no good idea. I don't want to be educated what to be concerned with looking at the games.

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