Syrian boxer competes “for all refugees” at Olympics


(SOUNDBITE) (German) SYRIAN BOXER, WESSAM SALAMANA, SAYS:

“Hello, my name is Wessam. I am from Syria, I am a refugee and next month I will be in Tokyo. I am a boxer so we will see each other in Tokyo.”

Wessam Salamana will box at the Tokyo Olympics

as part of an expanded refugee team of 29 athletes

having fled to Germany six years ago

Location: Voelklingen, Germany

(SOUNDBITE) (German) SYRIAN BOXER, WESSAM SALAMANA, SAYS:

“So far I have only boxed for one country, Syria, my home country but now I box for the whole world. There are refugees all over the world and that’s why I box for all refugees all over the world. So I’m boxing for a lot of countries, not just one. “

Salamana’s team will compete under the Olympic flag

and includes people from Syria, South Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Iran

(SOUNDBITE) (German) BOXING COACH, HEIKO STAACKE, SAYS:

“In sports, it doesn’t matter if you’ve moved here from another city or in the case of Wessam if you’re a refugee. Thanks to sport, there is always an opportunity to integrate: there are a lot of different people from different professional backgrounds and you can make a lot of contacts. Sport is always at the forefront when it comes to integration. “


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