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5 May, 2024

Dorsa Yavarivafa, IOC Refugee Scholarship Holder in badminton for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, has been selected to the IOC Refugee Olympic Team.

Yavarivafa will be the second badminton player to represent the IOC Refugee Olympic Team after Syria-born Aram Mahmoud, who participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

IOC President, Thomas Bach announced the news from Olympic House in Lausanne on Thursday 2 May. Bach congratulated all the members of Refugee Olympic Team, hailing their persistence and courage in the face of adversity.

Bach said: “We welcome all of you with open arms. You are an enrichment to our Olympic Community, and to our societies. With your participation in the Olympic Games, you will demonstrate the human potential of resilience and excellence. This will send a message of hope to the more than 100 million displaced people around the world.”

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The Iran-born Yavarivafa has been based in the United Kingdom over the last four years and has been training at Sankey Academy after enrolling for a sports and exercise science course at Middlesex University.

Reacting to the official announcement by IOC, a delighted Yavarivafa said: “I cannot believe it. Going to the Olympics is what I have always dreamed about. My mum told me if I was willing to work hard then I could make it happen. I want to make every refugee and badminton fan proud.”

Thirty-six athletes from 11 different countries, hosted by 15 National Olympic Committees competing across 12 sports were named as members of the Refugee Olympic Team heading to the French capital.

The Refugee Athlete Scholarships are funded by the IOC through its Olympic Solidarity programme, and provide the athletes with financial support for training and competition in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The funding has helped Yavarivafa compete in several international tournaments from September 2023 onwards.

Image: BadmintonPhoto

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