Ramiro Mora and Yekta Jamali are, therefore, officially among the 36 members of the IOC Refugee Team that will perform at the Olympic Games in Paris in 12 sports: aquatics (swimming), athletics, badminton, boxing, breaking, canoeing (slalom and sprint), cycling (road), judo, shooting, taekwondo, weightlifting, and wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman).

Jekta Yamali
Ramiro Mora

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach made the announcement during a ceremony at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday (May 2). He 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.”

The IOC Refugee Olympic Team is competing at the Olympic Games for the third time, after previous appearances at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. This year, its Chef de Mission will be Masomah Ali Zada, who competed as a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020. The 36 athletes come from 11 countries and are, at the moment, supported by 15 National Olympic Committees through specialized National Sports Federations.

The EWF welcomed the decision of the IOC, but also the special efforts supported by the International Weightlifting Federation through its Executive Board and its responsible for this project, the EB Member Florian Sperl, who reacted enthusiastically to the decision, taking into account that he is also the President of the German Weightlifting Federation who was directly involved in supporting the athlete Yekta Jamali: “Having 12 sports represented in the team, and weightlifting being one of them with two athletes, this shows the value we have in the Olympic movement.

As was said by the IOC, their selection was based on two main criteria, the official refugee status (recognized by the UN), and their sports performances. This last point is very important, as it demonstrates the effort these two lifters put into becoming Olympians despite the difficulties. Congratulations to Ramiro and Yekta and all the best for Paris!”

An extremely positive reaction to the IOC’s official announcement also came from CEO/General Secretary Matthew Curtain who emphasized the involvement of the Federation he leads in supporting Ramiro Mora: “I am thrilled to see Ramiro Mora selected for the IOC Olympic Refugee Team at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Ramiro’s story is one of exceptional dedication and achievement, setting British records in the 89kg, 96kg, and 102kg categories in a remarkably short time. His journey reflects not only his personal commitment but also the supportive environment provided by the Olympic Association, UK Sport and British Weight Lifting.

BWL is committed to continuing our support for Ramiro and other athletes who find a new home and a new hope in sport. We look forward to seeing Ramiro shine at the Paris Olympics and inspire others with his incredible story of perseverance and triumph.”

The news was received with even more joy by IWF EB Curtain taking into account the role of Paris 2024 OG Technical Delegate with which he was entrusted.

The weightlifting continental governing body’s President Antonio Conflitti concluded the long list of positive reactions by emphasizing the possible availability that EWF is prepared to offer these wonderful athletes: “We are happy that both athletes are training in Europe and I am happy that they, in addition to enriching the IOC Team of Refugees, the value of the competition will increase, confirming an Olympic competition that will take place under the umbrella of all Olympic values and principles. If it will be necessary, the EWF is ready to support these two athletes, whom I want to congratulate once again for these great achievements. I also congratulate the partner EWF Member Federations that were and are directly involved in the athletes’ support.”

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