Sport and Entertainment talent “in conversation” with IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020

UNHCR

Joint IOC/UNHCR/Discovery Press Release

Germany. Refugee, Olympic swimmer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Yusra Mardini during training for the Tokyo 2020 OlympicsSyrian refugee, Olympic swimmer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Yusra Mardini at the pool she uses to train for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. © UNHCR/Paul Wu

  • First ‘In Conversation’ episode launches on 23 June, Olympic Day, in support of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 who represent over 80 million forcibly displaced people around the world.
  • Featuring Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Yusra Mardini with US Olympian and 5-time gold medallist Katie Ledecky.
  • Future episodes in the build-up to Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 to include refugee athletes Anjelina Nadai Lohalith and Alaa Maso, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors Nomzamo Mbatha and Alphonso Davies, and many more.
  • ‘In Conversation’ premieres on 23 June 2021 across Olympics.com, UNHCR and Discovery platforms, including discovery+ and Eurosport.com.

As part of the 23 June Olympic Day celebrations and in the week marking World Refugee Day, an exclusive series of interviews will tell the inspirational stories of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Refugee Olympic Team athletes by bringing them together with big names in film, entertainment and sport.

Premiering in the build-up to Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the episodes feature members of the unique IOC Refugee Olympic Team that will bring together 29 athletes to compete at the Games this summer. Originating from 11 countries around the world, the team was created by the IOC and its President, Thomas Bach, ahead of Olympic Games Rio 2016. The series showcases the athletes’ stories to send inspiring messages of hope and resilience to the world’s 82.4 million forcibly displaced people.

Produced by Eurosport, Discovery’s leading multi-sport brand and the Home of the Olympics in Europe*, in partnership with the IOC and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, ‘In Conversation’ seeks to introduce new audiences to some of these inspiring Olympic refugee athletes. The conversations will provide new perspectives on refugees’ stories and raise awareness of the power of sport to help displaced people rebuild their lives.

‘In Conversation: Yusra & Katie’ provides a unique perspective. The youngest ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Yusra Mardini, who was a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Rio 2016 and will compete at Tokyo 2020 this summer, meets five-time Olympic Games gold medallist in swimming, Katie Ledecky. Also set to compete at Tokyo 2020 for Team USA, Ledecky is the most decorated woman in swimming history including 15 World Championship gold medals as well as her Olympic titles.

Later episodes will see UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors such as actress Nomzamo Mbatha and footballer and former refugee Alphonso Davies paired with members of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team, including Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, the South Sudan-born 1500M athlete, and freestyle swimmer Alaa Maso, originally from Aleppo, Syria. As each athlete and supporter become acquainted, intimate conversations follow and capture the compelling stories of the athletes, their challenging journeys, and how they have overcome adversity to compete at the world’s greatest sporting event. The series can be found across UNHCR, IOC and Discovery platforms, including discovery+ and Eurosport.com.

‘In Conversation’ follows the IOC’s announcement of the Refugee Olympic Team headed to Tokyo 2020 earlier this month. A campaign to further support for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020 will be launched by Eurosport, in partnership with the IOC, in July.

*Excludes Russia. Official Broadcaster in France and the UK for Tokyo 2020.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.