At this year’s Olympic Games, for the first time, a group of refugees were selected to compete under the Olympic flag, highlighting the issue of refugees and displaced people. The team consisted of ten competing athletes with Tegla Loroupe as the Chef de Mission or leader.
Loroupe, from Kenya, is the former women’s world marathon record holder, whose motivation for helping refugees comes from her Christian faith, saying, “I am a Christian and I have seen the power of God with me, giving me strength…”
Speaking to her in Rio, Passion for Sport reporter Norman Brierley discovered she had her own experience of losing members of her family through conflict in Africa. Since then she’s established the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation to promote conflict resolution, peace building and the reduction of human rights violations.
When asked about her work for peace, Loroupe explained, “You can help and make a difference for one person, to change that one person will make a difference to other people. It is something special. It shows solidarity and humanity.”
Listen to our Planet Sport programme, featuring the interview with Tegla Loroupe, here:
Whilst the Refugee Olympic Team didn’t win any medals in Rio, they were certainly an inspiration to many as Passion for Sport reporter Tom Ellis found out when he spoke with some refugees now living in Rio as they watched the team compete.
This web piece was taken form an article in our recent newsletter which you can find here.