GENEVA – Athletes with disabilities have vied for glory at the Paralympic Games since 1960. This summer, for the first time, para-athletes who have faced the additional challenge of being displaced from their homeland will compete in Rio de Janeiro as the Independent Paralympic Athletes Team.
The competitors, who are originally from Iran and Syria, will follow in the footsteps of the widely celebrated Refugee Olympic Team. Although they did not win any medals, that squad of 10 athletes made history at the 2016 Summer Olympics, representing the courage and perseverance of the world’s refugees and displaced people – a population that now exceeds 65 million.
Ahead of the Paralympic Games, which open on September 7, meet the athletes who will carry an inspiring message of hope, not only for the millions of displaced people with disabilities around the world, but for everyone, everywhere.