Historic All-Refugee Team To Compete At Olympics

The world’s 20 million refugees will finally have a presence

It’s been a long time coming. In a ground-breaking decision, the International Olympic Committee announced that they would allow 10 athletes to compete in the games as a team of refugees under the Olympic flag. While it’s not the first time geopolitical issues have caused a team to participate under this banner, it is the first time that a team of refugees from different nations will band together.

Forty-three athletes from countries such as Syria, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were up for spots on the team, which has been whittled down to 10 participants. There are six men and four women, and they’ll enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony even before host country Brazil. The athletes will be competing in track and field, swimming, and judo; some have resettled in Europe, while others were found while staying in a refugee camp in Kenya.

Popole Misenga, a refugee from Democratic Republic of Congo, suits up for a Judo match (Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) hopes the team will shed light on the international refugee crisis, which has caused heated discussion in Europe, Canada, the United States...all over the globe, really.. The EU may restrict the number of refugees it takes in from North Africa, Germany has reported a rise in hate crimes, and Montana residents are experiencing strife over whether to house Syrian families. This move by the Olympic Committee is a way to put a face on a crisis that has been been receiving quite a bit of attention—without the understanding to match. As IOC president Thomas Bach noted in his announcement, for at least the duration of the Games, these currently stateless refugees will have a home in the Olympic Village with their fellow athletes.

It’s a heartwarming story that will surely stir up some tears from everyone watching on their television (or iPad) screens, but as NPR points out with numbers from the U.N., there are about 20.2 million refugees globally—which means that these athletes, who are being called a “symbol of hope” by Bach, also have a major opportunity to bring awareness to those refugees who aren’t quite as fast in the 1500m. What will be truly affecting is if their participation in the Games brings more empathy to a crisis that’s been very emotionally charged, where the stakes aren’t medals but life and death.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading