Lausanne: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday approved the list of 29 refugee athletes who will compete at the Tokyo Olympics under the Olympic flag.
During the opening ceremony on July 23, the refugee athletes -- from 13 host National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competing in 12 sports -- will enter the stadium "in second position after Greece".
Kenya's Tegla Loroupe, Olympian and former marathon world-record holder, will be the team's Chef de Mission.
The selection of the refugee team for Tokyo was based on the athletes' sporting performance and their refugee status as confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Personal background and "balanced representativity in terms of sport, gender and regions, were also considered".
The full Refugee Olympic Team (EOR) delegation will meet for the first time in Doha on July 12 and 13, before flying to Tokyo on July 14.
On Tuesday, the 29 athletes met for the first time in a virtual ceremony during which IOC president, Thomas Bach, officially announced their participation in the Games.
"I speak on behalf of the entire Olympic Movement when I say that we cannot wait to meet you in person and to see you compete in Tokyo. When you, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and the athletes from the NOCs from all over the globe, finally come together in Tokyo on July 23, it will send a powerful message of solidarity, resilience and hope to the world. You are an integral part of our Olympic community, and we welcome you with open arms," Bach said