Olympic Games


Bach praises World Taekwondo for "leading role" with refugee athletes

Bach praises World Taekwondo for "leading role" with refugee athletes
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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has praised taekwondo for playing a "leading role" in using sport to help with the global refugee crisis.

World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue is also the chairman of the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF), which works to teach the sport to refugees and other displaced people around the world.

The THF has a flagship academy at the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, where Syrians who have escaped the conflict in their country are able to practice the sport.

Choue is also a member of the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) which delivered a report at the IOC Session in Mumbai, which concluded today.

You saw with taekwondo they're playing a leading role in all these efforts from the very beginning,

said Bach.

We can only invite the other International Federations to join hands and to help these people because they need sport and this is what our friends and colleagues at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are always telling us. 

The High Commissioner asks refugees 'what do you need most after food, shelter and medical care?The first answer he always gets is sport.

We also have a responsibility there. 

We have a responsibility because we can see our values are inspiring people and are playing a role in their lives. 

We can not only talk about the values and inspire those who have a normal life. 

If we really want to show and to walk the talk of the promotion of our values then we have in particular to go there, where it's most needed in these refugee camps and communities of displaced people. 

So please help wherever you can and support our colleagues in the Olympic Refuge Foundation.

The ORF report featured a video of Azraq athlete Wael Fawaz Al-Farraj, who holds an Olympic refugee scholarship.

This means he could win a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as part of the refugee team.

Al-Farraj would be the first Olympian from the THF if he achieves the feat.

My biggest dream is to become an Olympic champion and get a gold medal,

he said. 

I also dream that my family will live comfortably and for my circumstances to be better as I would like them to be.

Many refugees will be proud of me and that will motivate lots of young people and show that hope is constant and the dream must go on. 

The Paris Olympics are my dream and I will keep trying until I make it there.

Photo: © World Taekwondo

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