Felipe VI praises the work of the Foundation and the Refugee Olympic Team to “alleviate” a “harsh reality”


King Felipe VI highlighted the work of the Foundation and the Refugee Olympic Team for “reflecting” and, at the same time, “alleviating” the “harsh reality” of the thousands of people separated from their lives, in an obligation to be ” in solidarity” so that they recover their ambitions.

“The Refugee Olympic Foundation and the Refugee Olympic Team remind us that sport, high-level competition, and the Olympic movement also serve to remember, reflect and mitigate as far as possible the harsh reality that so many people in the world are experiencing,” said the king.

The Campoamor Theater in Oviedo held this Friday the ceremony for the Princess of Asturias Awards, which in 2022, in the Sports category, went to the Foundation and the Refugee Olympic Team. The award is in recognition of the opportunities offered to athletes from conflict zones and places where human rights are violated, to develop their sporting and personal abilities.

“The word ‘refugee’ causes deep despair in the listener, because the world’s refugees have lost everything. Forced to leave everything for reasons beyond their control and even endangering their lives. We are called to be in solidarity so that they can recover ambitions and this is what this Foundation and the Olympic team do by supporting athletes from various countries around the world so that they can resume their activity in decent conditions and participate in sports competitions”, he added.

The monarch thanked the presence in the theater of the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and Masomah Ali Zada ​​and Eldric Sella, representing the winners.

Rio 2016 marked the first appearance of refugee athletes at the Olympic Games, with 10 men and women competing under the IOC flag. Meanwhile, in Tokyo 2020, the second refugee team competed, with 29 athletes. Refugee Paralympic athletes also participated in the Rio and Tokyo Paralympics.