- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 3, 2016

A team of refugees from around the world will compete under the Olympic flag at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A total of 43 perspective athletes have been identified to compete for the Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA), the BBC reported.

“By welcoming ROA to the Olympic Games in Rio, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world,” said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach told the BBC. “This team will be treated like all the other teams.”

All members of the ROA team will be selected based on their sporting ability, personal circumstances and they must have United Nations-verified refugee status.

The athletes selected for the team will then receive funding for training.

“This team may end up between five and 10 athletes maybe,” Mr. Bach said, “We have no target. It depends very much on the sporting qualifications.”

The ROA team will enter the opening ceremony as the penultimate team, ahead of hosts Brazil.

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