Refugee Team will take part in Asian Games for the first time in the history

The Executive Committee for preparation of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games was informed about this. In the Ashgabat Asian Games, a refugee guide will be a delegation head Tegla Lurup � the Olympic champion of Kenya, who is also the Ambassador for the UN project Sport and Peace.

In the spirit of Olympic solidarity, united under the peacekeeping banner of sport, the Refugee Team will be one of 65 participating delegations of the largest International competitions in the history of Central Asia in various sports disciplines.

The decision to put the Refugee Team into the field of Ashgabat 2017 Games was made after their participation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The athletes, forced to leave their country due to extraordinary circumstances, were met with universal approval and support.

Sports coordinator of refugees at the UN Refugee Agency Claude Marshall noted that at the beginning of the year, the Executive Committee for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games approached the Agency with a proposal for participation of the Refugee Team in the Ashgabat 2017 Games.

Refugees are the likes of us: don't differ from us and can compete on an equal basis with other athletes. The only difference is the horror which they had to pass through, being refugees, Marshall said, whose mission is to provide sports training for refugees.

In recent 22 years, the International Olympic Committee and the UN Refugee Agency have worked together to ensure the sport availability in all refugee camps. For such projects' implementation, the IOC purposefully allocates funds.

For the first time in the Olympic Games' history, Refugee Team took part in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach designated this decision as historical one.

The idea to engage in the Olympic Games athletes who lost their Motherland by force of circumstances, was announced by Th.Bach in 2015, when he was affected by the distressful situation of a large number of refugees, migrated to Europe. And then members of the International Olympic Committee accepted that one historical decision in order to attract an attention of the world community to this problem. They declared, It will be a message of hope for refugees of entire world.

And now the Refugee Team, which anthem will be the anthem of the Olympic Council of Asia, will participate in the largest competitions of the Asian part of the continent � Ashgabat 2017 Games.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper