Six Athletes To Represent RPT At Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Confirms IPC

Arhama AltafWeb Editor

01st Jul, 2021. 10:50 am
Paralympic Games Six athletes

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has today confirmed the six athletes who will represent the Refugee Paralympic Team (RPT) at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The athletes, one woman and five men will compete in Para athletics, Para swimming, Para canoe and Para taekwondo.

The team represents more than 82 million people around the world who have been forced to flee war, persecution, and human rights abuses, 12 million of whom live with disabilites. The Chef de Mission for the team is Ileana Rodriguez, a refugee from Cuba who competed in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in swimming for the USA.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, said: “I would urge people everywhere to support the world’s most courageous sports team, the Refugee Paralympic Team. These athletes exemplify how change starts with sport: they have suffered life-changing injuries, fled for their safety and undertaken dangerous journeys, but despite the many barriers put in their way, they have become elite athletes ready to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”

“Sport is a powerful tool to include refugees with disabilities in society and the announcement of the Refugee Paralympic Team is a poignant moment for the IPC – we are delivering on a commitment we made at the UNHCR Global Refugee Forum in 2019 to promote equal participation in sporting events for refugees,” he added.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi welcomed the announcement.

The athletes on the Refugee Paralympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are:

  1. Ibrahim Al Hussein, a Syrian refugee living in Athens, Greece, Para-swimming – announced by Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.
  2. Alia Issa, a Syrian refugee living in Athens, Greece, Para-athletics (club throw) – announced by British actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
  3. Parfait Hakizimana*, Burundian refugee living in the Mahama Refugee Camp, Rwanda, Para taekwondo – announced by opera singer and French Legion d’honneur recipient and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks.
  4. Abbas Karimi, an Afghan refugee living in Fort Lauderdale, USA, Para-swimming – announced by UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Khaled Hosseini, the best-selling author of The Kite Runner and himself an Afghan refugee.
  5. Anas Al Khalifa, a Syrian refugee living in Halle, Germany, Para canoe – announced by footballer and UNHCR high profile supporter, Asmir Begović, who was forced to flee his home in Bosnia and Herzegovina at a young age, first arriving in Germany.
  6. Shahrad Nasajpour, an Iranian refugee living in Phoenix, USA, Para-athletics (discus) – announced by Bayern Munich and Canada footballer Alphonso Davies, himself a refugee originally from Liberia and recently announced as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

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