February 20 2018
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As the world prepares for the 2017 IAAF World Championships to kick off tomorrow in London, one particular team is already standing out in ways that inspire and motivate runners of all nationalities. This is the first year that a team comprised entirely of refugee athletes will be competing in the IAAF World Championships.
The Athlete Refugee Team (ART) features two women (Rose Nathike Lokonyen and Angelina Nadi) and three men (Kadar Omar Abdullahi, Ahmed Bashir Farah and Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu). The athletes are all sponsored by On, a running shoe and apparel company that is working in collaboration with the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation in Kenya to support refugee athletes.
As part of the official sponsorship, On released a video today that introduces the world to the five teammates. As they share their stories of displacement, they each emphasize the drive they feel to succeed in ways that will push them past the “refugee” characterization. “I don’t see myself as just meaningless, or as a refugee cannot do anything,” Abdullahi says in the video. “I see myself as a human being.”
Check out the official IAAF World Championships Schedule to follow the team’s progress, and watch On’s video about ART above.