'Nationless' Refugee Olympic Team Ran for Their Lives Before They Competed for Gold
This year's Olympic Games in Rio have had their share of problems - or should we call them #RioProblems? From sewage in the water, to body parts washing ashore, to crime, to Zika fears, these Games have had their share of controversy.
Maybe Rio can use some good news. This year's Olympic Games feature a team of ten competitors who are athletes without a nation. In March, the International Olympic Committee established a team of refugees with the goal of serving as "a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis," in the words of IOC president Thomas Bach, who also said, "These refugee athletes will show the world that, despite the unimaginable tragedies they have faced, anyone can contribute to society through their talent, skills and strength of the human spirit.”
Country of origin: South Sudan
James Nyang Chiengjiek fled South Sudan at the age of 13 to escape insurgents who were recruiting child solders. At the age of 28, instead of running away, Chiengjiek is running for gold after training in a refugee camp in Kenya. Chiengjiek knows that his story can inspire. “My dream is to get good results at the Olympics and also to help people. Because I have been supported by someone, I also want to support someone,” he says. “If some of us get the chance to go to Rio then you have to look back to see where your brothers and sisters are. Given the chance, you have to utilise it in the right way.”