Tag Archives: Olympic Games

From Rio, Olympic Refugee Team Urges Compassion for Displaced People

“It’s only a name to be a refugee”

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-3-2016

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian swimmer on the Refugee Olympic Team.. Photo via Wikimedia commons

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian swimmer on the Refugee Olympic Team.. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to imagine good news emerging from environmental chaos in Brazil and warfare around the globe, but a team of refugees competing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this month stood in the spotlight on Tuesday, and took the opportunity to urge compassion for displaced people worldwide.

The 10 athletes on the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team (ROT) were given a standing ovation as they joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“We are ambassadors for the other refugees. We cannot forget this chance that you gave us,” said Yiech Pur Biel, a track and field athlete originally from South Sudan. “We are not bad people. It’s only a name to be a refugee.” Continue reading

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Superbugs, Sewage, and Scandal: Are Rio Olympics Poised for Disaster?

Companies at center of grafting scheme construct Olympic Village, raw sewage pours into Rio de Janeiro, and protests sweep nation

By Nika Knight, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-1-2016

Thousands of dead fish float in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, where the Olympics rowing and canoeing competitions will take place, in 2015. (Photo: Marcelo Sayao/EPA)

Thousands of dead fish float in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon, where the Olympics rowing and canoeing competitions will take place, in 2015. (Photo: Marcelo Sayao/EPA)

A biology professor has simple advice for athletes and tourists descending on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympics’ start on Friday: “Don’t put your head underwater.”

Dr. Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida, remarked on the dangers posed by Rio’s water to AP, which reported Monday that a 16-months-long study revealed that “the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria.” Continue reading

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