“1 in 100 million”: the IOC campaign inspired by the Refugee Team

The International Olympic Committee released a video to celebrate the participation of the 36 athletes who will be in Paris 2024 and to remember all the road they had to travel to fulfill their dream.



El Equipo de Refugiados estará compuesto en París 2024 por 36 deportistas. 
(Crédito UNHCR)
El Equipo de Refugiados estará compuesto en París 2024 por 36 deportistas. (Crédito UNHCR)

On March 2, 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the creation of the Refugee Team and that same year, in Rio de Janeiro, for the first time, a delegation made up of athletes who had to leave their respective countries in search of a better future participated in the Olympic Games.

In Brazil, there were 10 who paved the way, in Tokyo 2020 that number grew to 29 athletes and now there will be 36 athletes who will fulfill their dream of being present in Paris 2024.

The number of refugees in the world is close to 100 million and they inspired the IOC to launch the “1 in 100 million” campaign, in which it seeks to celebrate the journey of each of those who will have the opportunity to become Olympians in the French capital.

“The film is part of a larger initiative that gives the team its own unique identity, making a nod to the design of the first emblem of the Refugee Olympic Team, a unifying symbol that brings together diverse athletes. The emblem has arrow markers, which signify the shared experience of their travels, and a heart, which originates from the logo of the Olympic Foundation for Refuge (ORF), to represent the belonging that the team hopes to inspire and that athletes and displaced people from all over the world have found through sports,” explained the IOC.

“Each member of the Refugee Olympic Team has different backgrounds and life experiences, but sport unites us: we are a family and we are going to go out, support each other and show the world what we can do,” said Cindy Namba, the boxer born in Cameroon and who was welcomed by Great Britain.

Namba is one of the athletes who appears in the 45-minute short film released by the IOC, in which she presents “the formidable sporting talents and unique personal stories of the athletes of the Olympic Refugee Team” and also “draws attention to the shocking scale of the global refugee crisis”.

The weightlifter Ramiro Mora, who was born in Cuba and was also welcomed by Great Britain, is another protagonist of the campaign: “I will be very proud to come out with the emblem of the Olympic Refugee Team. To represent myself, my journey, but also to the thousands of people who are in circumstances similar to mine. I hope that seeing us leave Paris 2024 will bring hope and inspiration to people around the world.”

According to data from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, when the IOC created this Olympic team in 2016, there were about 70 million refugees in the world and that number has already exceeded 100 million.

Last Thursday, May 2, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced the 36 athletes who will be part of the delegation at the Paris 2026 Games. The head of mission will be Masomah Ali Zada, a cyclist born in Afghanistan and who competed as a member of the Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo 2020.

The athletes come from 11 different countries, are hosted by 15 different National Olympic Committees and will compete in 12 different sports: swimming, athletics, badminton, boxing, breaking, boating, cycling, judo, shooting, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling.

“1 in 100 million”, led by William Bartlett and created using AI technology, hopes to mobilize global support for the Refugee Olympic Team, encouraging fans to follow the athletes’ journey through @RefugeeOlympicTeam and show their support on social media with #ForThe100Million.