Our very own Pur Biel and Yusra Mardini, spoke at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires,
Speaking on behalf of the Refugee Olympic Team, the two highlighted the impact that the team’s participation in Rio continued to have on refugee youth from across the world. They did a brilliant job and received a full room standing ovation. They spoke about the legacy of the games and the impact it would have in the future for refugees. They spoke of hope and resilience and of the importance of people seeing them as human beings. Both of them heavily referenced UNHCR, the IOC, the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, and the importance of the partnership and the 68.5 million displaced people they felt they gave a voice to.
At the end of the session, Yusra asked the IOC President, Thomas Bach, and the full refugee team, who were in the audience, to join them on stage and she presented him with the award they had received in New York at the International Crisis Group ceremony. The award, which was received on behalf of the team by Pur and Yusra earlier in the week, was in honour of the ‘courageous use of sport to send a message of hope, and for serving as global ambassadors for the rights of displaced people.’
It was moving and inspiring and many in the room had tears.
Both Pur and Yusra went on to do a number of media interviews and the team were also filmed for the Olympic Channel.
The team members then joined the UNHCR Argentina and visit the exhibition, the graffiti wall and the UNHCR stall and take part in the Youth Olympic Games.