Syrian Refugee To Participate in Olympic Torch Exchange

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As a life-long swimmer and an avid viewer of the Olympic Games Syrian refugee, Ibrahim Al-Hussein, will be one of the representatives of Greece in the Rio de Janeiro torch relay’s Greek leg.

Al-Hussein grew up in the city of Deir-ez-Zor right along the River Euphrates where he learned how to swim by father, a swim coach, alongside his siblings. Swimming became one of the many activities that the now 27-year-old enjoyed, including basketball and judo wrestling.

After he lost part of his right leg to a bomb in 2012, Al-Hussein fled to Turkey before crossing into the Eastern Greek island of Samos in early 2014. He now swims three times a week and plays basketball in a wheelchair at a local Athens club.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has noted that they are planning to have a group of approximately 5-10 refugees compete at the Rio Games where they would march behind the Olympic flag. This is all a symbolic gesture of support to the victims of the global refugee crisis.

See the full USA Today report here. 

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Author: Taylor Brien

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Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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